Press releases

Deloitte comments on SMMT new car registration figures

05 September 2022

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

“New car registrations grew by 1.2% in August compared to the same period last year. While it is promising to see growth for the first time since February, this growth is coming from a low base. With just 68,858 cars sold last month, figures for the year to date remain well below pre-pandemic figures.

September plate change hugely significant, but unlikely to offer any respite

“The sector will be hoping that the new ‘72’ plate will contribute to an uptick in fortunes next month. But, with year-to-date sales down by -10.7% compared to last year, it would take an exceptional month to help the industry recover any shortfall from the rest of the year. Any expectations about September’s performance need to be tempered given the supply constraints that are still ongoing.

Dealers shielded from the cost of living crisis… for now

“The growing squeeze on the cost of living has seen consumer confidence plummet to an all-time low. Across the board, consumers are tightening their belts, with many delaying major purchases. However, pent-up demand that grew during the ongoing semi-conductor shortage means that order books are filled until the end of the year. As a result, many dealers will be insulated from falling demand in the short-term. Any fallout from the cost of living crisis is more likely to be felt next year, with some concerns already being raised about a slowdown in demand in 2023.

Challenges for dealers and OEMs

“Like the rest of the country, car dealers and manufacturers are feeling the effects of rising costs, particularly energy bills, as one of the additional challenges they are facing.

EV growth continues

“Despite ongoing struggles experienced across the sector, battery electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity; volumes were up 35.4% in August compared to the same period last year, accounting for a 14.5% market share.

“This can be explained, in part, by some manufacturers prioritising the production of battery electric vehicles as semiconductor supplies remain constrained.

“Over the last few months, record fuel prices have encouraged some consumers to consider the switch to fully electric. With fuel prices starting to fall and the cost of electricity rising, some consumers may begin to second guess the financial benefits of switching to an EV. However, should the cost of charging an EV at home nearly double - as expected in October due to the rising energy price cap - EV drivers will still experience substantial savings compared to those filling up a petrol or diesel car.”


Notes to Editors

About Deloitte

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

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

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