New car sales hit one million milestone

More than a million new cars were sold in the UK in the first six months of the year for the first time in five years.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), new car registrations rose in June by 1.1% to reach 179,263 units, meaning that so far this year 1,006,763 new cars have been registered.

This is up six per cent on last year but still down 20.7% on 2019.

June’s market growth was driven primarily by the fleet sector, where uptake rose by 14.2%, while private retail demand fell for the ninth consecutive month, down 15.3%.

Electrified vehicle uptake continued to grow strongly, with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) volumes up 30% to reach a 9.3% market share, while hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) rose 27.2% to achieve 14.9% of the market. Battery electric vehicle growth (BEV) was recorded at 7.4%, or 19% of all new vehicle registrations.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said:

“The year’s midpoint sees the new car market in its best state since 2021 – but this belies the bigger challenge ahead. The private consumer market continues to shrink against a difficult economic backdrop, but with the right policies in place, the next government can re-energise the market and deliver a faster, fairer zero emission transition. All parties are agreed on the need to cut carbon and replacing older fossil fuel-based technologies with new electrified powertrains is the essential step to achieving that goal.”