New car registrations decline by 27.4 per cent in November

The UK new car market saw registrations decline by 27.4 per cent in November, according to new details released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In total, 113,781 new cars were registered during the month.

Suffering a £1.3 billion hit in revenue, 42,840 fewer cars hit the road during the month compared with the same period last year.

The sale of petrol cars was down by 41.9 per cent, while diesel dropped by 56.2 per cent compared with the same month in 2019.

That said, the sales of electrified vehicles – battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, standard hybrid and mild hybrid – totalled 42,001, up 74.1 per cent on the same period a year ago. Battery-electric vehicles recorded their third-highest ever monthly share of registrations at 9.1 per cent.

The decline was less severe than that recorded during the first national lockdown which saw registrations fall by 97.3 per cent in April, largely because retailers were better geared-up to offer click-and-collect or delivery services.

However, despite this, the demand for private cars fell by 32.2 per cent while fleet registrations fell by 22.1 per cent.

With the sector having lost 663,761 units to date, it would mean that around 31,000 cars would need to be registered during each working day in December for the market to achieve the level which was expected at the start of the year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Compared with the spring lockdown, manufacturers, dealers and consumers were all better prepared to adjust to constrained trading conditions. But with £1.3 billion worth of new car revenue lost in November alone, the importance of showroom trading to the UK economy is evident and we must ensure they remain open in any future Covid restrictions.

“More positively, with a vaccine now approved, the business and consumer confidence on which this sector depends can only improve, giving the industry more optimism for the turn of the year.”

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