“Whilst August is traditionally a quiet month for motor retail in the run up to September's plate change, dealers are reporting a positive month for trading. New car sales continue to steadily increase year-on-year, driven by the electrification of the UK car parc.” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT’s new passenger car registration figures.
In August, a total of 85,657 new cars were registered, an increase of 24.4% from the same period last year. Sales to private buyers fell by -8.1%; fleet registrations were up by 58.4%.
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) experienced significant growth, up 72.3% to 17,243 units. Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations increased by 70% to 6,601 units, and hybrids (HEVs) followed with growth of 6.8% to 8,551 units. There are now 193,221 registered BEVs on the road in 2023 compared to the 137,498 at the same point last year, a 40.5% increase.
With sales of electric growing, diesel fell from 4,455 units to 3,647 (-18.1%), but petrol has risen from 31,652 units to 34,756 units (9.8%).
Sue Robinson added: “The top of the news agenda for the past month has been ULEZ, NFDA’s members have begun to see the impact of the legislation with increasing enquiries and growing interest about switching to electric from a non-ULEZ compliant car. Feedback from members is that footfall is steady, particularly in these zones, with prospective EV consumers keen to speak to their local retailers, who act as vital information hubs for their communities.
“Looking ahead, September is an important month in the industry and NFDA retailers are well prepared to meet the demands of UK consumers with good stock availability, high levels of training, through NFDA’s Electric Vehicle Approved accreditation, and a focus on delivering the best service possible to UK consumers.”
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.