Car registrations edge upwards in April

New car registrations grew for the 21st month in a row in April, rising by one per cent to 134,274 units.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), this is best April since 2021 but still 16.6% below pre-pandemic levels.

Growth was driven by fleets, where new registrations surged by 18.5%. Conversely, private buyer uptake fell by 17.7%.

EV sales continued to perform strongly, with plug-in hybrids recording the strongest growth, up 22.1% to 7.8% of the total market. Meanwhile, BEV uptake increased by 10.7% to a 16.9% market share.

However, demand from private buyers continues to wane, with April volumes among this segment down 21.9%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The new car market continues to grow even in the quieter months, driven primarily by fleet demand. This is particularly true of the electric vehicle sector, where the absence of government incentives for private buyers is having a marked effect. Although attractive deals on EVs are in place, manufacturers cannot fund the mass market transition single-handedly. Temporarily cutting VAT, treating EVs as fiscally mainstream not luxury vehicles, and taking steps to instil consumer confidence in the chargepoint network will drive the market growth on which Britain’s net zero ambition depends.”