Press releases

Deloitte comments on SMMT new car registration figures

04 March 2022

Jamie Hamilton, automotive director and head of electric vehicles at Deloitte, said:

“New car sales in February grew by 15% compared with February 2021, when sales were dented by showroom closures as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Whilst this means a year-on year comparison does not reflect the true performance of the sector, sales also remain well below pre-pandemic averages in what is traditionally a weak month for new vehicle purchases.

Booming used car market

“Despite the current cost of living squeeze, consumer demand does not appear to be showing significant let-up. However, with new car sales hampered by a shortage of semi-conductors - compromising both inventories and order fulfilment - the used car market is booming. The average cost of a second hand vehicle is now reported to be more than £20,000, with some ‘nearly new’ stock selling for more than its brand new price as dealers attempt to keep up with demand.

’22 plate incoming

“Manufacturers and dealers will barely have time to reflect on February’s performance as all eyes turn to March. The release of a new plate means that March is, traditionally, the most important month for new car sales and can account for as many as one in five annual registrations. However, the ability for manufacturers to fulfil ’22 plate orders will likely be compromised by the ongoing semi-conductor shortage.

Rising fuel prices drive consumers towards electric

“The EV sector continued to break new ground in February. Battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles grew by 196% and 49% respectively in February, and now hold a combined 25% share of the market. This compares to 13% in the same period last year.
“There is no sign of EV sales slowing down and, with both petrol and diesel tipping past £1.50 per litre in recent weeks, some consumers will likely be considering the savings they could be making by switching to electric sooner rather than later.”

-Ends-

About Deloitte

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The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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