Car sales surge as supply chain pressures ease

UK new car registrations in March bounced back by 18.2%, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The increase saw 287,825 units delivered, the eighth consecutive month of growth for the new car market, as supply chain challenges slowly continue to ease.

As a result, the first quarter of 2023 is the strongest since 2019, with just under half a million new cars joining the road. This represents an additional £2.7bn of deliveries.

Petrol-powered vehicles remained the most popular fuel type, comprising 56.3% of new units, while battery electric vehicle (BEV) deliveries reached a record monthly high of 46,626, representing growth of 18.6%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “March’s new plate month usually sets the tone for the year so this performance will give the industry and consumers greater confidence. With eight consecutive months of growth, the automotive industry is recovering, bucking wider trends and supporting economic growth. The best month ever for zero emission vehicles is reflective of increased consumer choice and improved availability but if EV market ambitions – and regulation – are to be met, infrastructure investment must catch up.”