New car registrations | March 2022
Ian Plummer, Auto Trader's Commercial Director comments on the latest new car registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders (SMMT)
The figures show dealerships enjoying healthy demand for new cars, although the industry’s lingering supply chain issues mean the traditional March rush for new registration plates has been flattened out by continued stock shortages.
“Encouragingly sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have doubled compared to last year, but we should also bear in mind the lack of available new car stocks means these figures reflect orders often made several months ago. There was already massive growth in this segment and, if anything, the demand for EVs is now even stronger as prices at the pumps rise on the back of the Ukraine crisis. Our own marketplace data shows a bigger share of would-be drivers considering EVs since the war began as the resulting rocketing fuel prices make electric cars a more attractive option, despite the upfront price premium.
“At the current rate, sales of new EVs will overtake both traditional petrol and diesel sales by 2025. But ministers need to make sure we can accommodate that predicted growth. The government's recent plan on charging infrastructure set out ambitions for a ten-fold increase in charging points, which is just the kind of commitment we need to reassure buyers thinking about making a purchase. It would also be good to see a mixture of other incentives offered to consumers, perhaps tax exemptions, free parking zones or exclusive road lane access to make the transition an easier one.”
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