Ian Plummer, Auto Trader's Commercial Director comments on the latest new car registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders (SMMT)
“Demand for new cars is a lot higher than these figures suggest. The market problem is still one of supply as war in Ukraine and component shortages keep a lid on the supply of new vehicles despite a lengthy queue of would-be buyers. Retailers still have backlogs of orders stretching back many months which they can’t fulfil yet, despite the best efforts of manufacturers. The genuine level of demand is “hidden” by the supply issues.
“Meanwhile lingering concerns over high fuel costs and the cost-of-living crisis are pushing drivers towards electric vehicles (EVs), particularly when it costs nearly £100 for a tank of petrol and less than a fifth of that to charge an EV at home. With fuel prices as high as they are, EV owners are currently saving £165 for every 1000 miles they drive, as our latest Road to 2030 report shows.
“The savings are such that demand for EVs is outpacing actual sales. Around one in four of all new cars viewed on our site is an electric vehicle, but they account for just one in seven of all new sales. Bridging that gap could unlock the mass market reach of EVs - but for that to happen, concerns over the cost of new EVs compared to traditional vehicles will need to be addressed, as well as the ability of the second-hand market to keep up with demand for more affordable used EVs.”