New car sales up by 9.5%

The UK new car market grew by 9.5% in November to reach 156,525 units, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In the market’s best November for four years, registrations almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, down just 96 units on 2019.

Growth was driven entirely by fleets investing in the latest vehicles, with registrations rising 25.4% to account for 93,049 units and 59.4% of the market. Private demand dropped 5.9% to 60,506 registrations, while business uptake fell 32.7%.

Year to date, however, the overall market remains up 18.6% at 1.762 million units.

Meanwhile, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) grew by 27.8% and 55.8% respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Britain’s new car market continues to recover, fuelled by fleets investing in the latest and greenest new vehicles. With car makers gearing up to meet their responsibilities under new market legislation, and COP28 currently underway, now is the time to take sensible steps that will multiply that economic growth and minimise carbon emissions. Private EV buyers need incentives in line with those that have so successfully driven business uptake – and workable trade rules that promote rather than penalise the transition.”