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New car sales grow for sixth consecutive month

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New data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that the sale of new cars grew by almost 15% in January to 131,994, which is the automotive sector’s best yearly start since the pre-pandemic month of January 2020.

Electric vehicles made a noteworthy contribution to the increased sales, with about one fifth of cars coming with a charging plug. Sales of battery electric vehicles rose by almost 20% to represent around 13% of new sales, while plug-in hybrid vehicles kept roughly a 7% share of new registrations.

The boss of the SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said:

“The automotive industry is already delivering growth that bucks the national trend and is poised, with the right framework, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UK economy. The industry and market are in transition, but fragile due to a challenging economic outlook, rising living costs and consumer anxiety over new technology.”

He added that the industry was looking forward to a Budget that would double down on the nation’s ambition to reach net zero by taking steps to accelerate growth in green technologies, not just for the automotive sector, but the nation as a whole. For example, the SMMT suggests that VAT on public charging services should be lowered from 20% to 5% to bring it in line with home charging.

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