New car sales set for slow recovery

Published 04 June 2021

New car registrations went up by 674 per cent in May but the industry faces a long road to recovery with sales down by 29 per cent on the 10-year average. 

Industry figures show 156,737 new cars were registered in May – significantly up on the same month the previous year when dealers were closed during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Pure electric cars accounted for 8.4 per cent of all new cars registered in May, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), while plug-in hybrid and self-charging hybrid vehicles made up roughly one third (33 per cent) of the market. 

Diesel sales continued their downward trend, accounting for just one in 10 new car sales (9.9 per cent) while petrol made up half of all new car registrations in the UK.  

Car Showroom 2

Industry commentators say car buyers will face further challenges as stock shortages continue to disrupt supply. HonestJohn.co.uk has received a number of complaints via ASK HJ from readers who say they are facing long delays for new vehicles.  

“If you’re in the market to sell, now is a great time. A shortage of the stock that usually moves around and makes its way to dealerships, such as ex-contract vehicles, fleet cars and ex-rentals, means that used cars are commanding a premium and selling fast," said Karen Hilton, Chief Commercial Officer at heycar.

“This has also come at a time when there are clear challenges around the availability of some new vehicles, due to many manufacturers still getting back up to speed following enforced Covid shutdowns."

According to heycar stock data, prices for used Nissan, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz models all rose by more than five per cent from April to May. Ford and Vauxhall cars increased in price by more than three per cent, while Audi, Land Rover, Peugeot and Volvo prices were more than two per cent higher in May than in April. 

Comments

hissingsid    on 6 June 2021

In a previous article you acknowledge that the average of cars on the road is increasing. The reasons are not hard to find.
New car prices are rising because they are increasingly complicated by autonomous driving aids and digital connectivity which few potential buyers want or need. Many drivers reject this trend and choose to retain their existing cars for as long as possible.

gavsmit    on 7 June 2021

In a previous article you acknowledge that the average of cars on the road is increasing. The reasons are not hard to find. New car prices are rising because they are increasingly complicated by autonomous driving aids and digital connectivity which few potential buyers want or need. Many drivers reject this trend and choose to retain their existing cars for as long as possible.

I agree but I also believe that all the unwanted 'tech' and driver aids are being used as just a couple of excuses to hide another reason for increasing prices at a ridiculous rate - to close the price difference between ICE cars and EVs so EVs never get cheaper like people are expecting them to.

I wish a car publication would run a story on how the price of every model has out-accelerated inflation many times over during the past few years (hidden behind monthly payment amounts of finance packages that don't always state the initial deposit and final payment amounts), but I doubt they will.

   on 7 June 2021

50% petrol, plus 10% diesel, plus 15% hybrids, plus 8.4 electric leaves 16.6% of the market - over half as much again as diesel- for … hydrogen? Steam? Elastic band? It’s not critical but if you can’t get this basic stuff rright what else may be wrong ?

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