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[NEWS] UK registrations rise 14.7% for sixth consecutive monthly increase

UK registrations rise 14.7% for sixth consecutive monthly increase

Stock Garage Photos 2021 13 1600x1067 3bc58426 b61a 4004 98d0 1db337b57371

Some 131,994 cars were registered in the first month of the year, with a 11.1% uplift predicted for 2023

UK new car registrations increased for the sixth consecutive month in January, representing the best start to the year since pre-Covid January 2020, new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed. 

Despite ongoing disruption to international supply chains, some 131,994 cars were registered in the first month of the year for growth of 14.7%, this driven by the increasing popularity of electrified vehicles.

The 14.7% increase in registrations means the SMMT’s end-of-year outlook stands at an 11.1% market uplift, with a target of 1.79 million. 

Of the 131,994 cars registered, 58,997 were petrol-powered, an increase of 14.6% year on year. Diesel registrations meanwhile dropped 12.1% to 5280.

Electrified models all received healthy levels of growth in January.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) were registered 18,976 times for a 40.6% increase year-on-year, while 22,362 mild hybrids (MHEVs) were sold. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) were nearly twice as popular as diesels, scoring 9109 registrations. And electric vehicles (EVs) made up 12.1% of all new registrations in January, at 17,294 - just below the average figure for 2022.

As a result of increased uptake, the SMMT predicts that one in four new cars sold this year will feature a plug, with an estimated growth figure of 32.1%, or 487,140 units. 

The SMMT suggested that the UK’s charging infrastructure was failing to keep pace with the increasing number of EVs on the road. 

One charger was installed for every 53 new plug-in cars registered last year, the lowest installation volume since 2020. Such low investment in infrastructure means the current ratio of charging points to plug-in cars stands at one in 62.

The SMMT has called on the UK government to mandate roll-out targets for EVs, reduce VAT on charger use from 20% to 5% and review proposals on VED for EVs. 

It also claimed plans for an expensive car supplement to apply to zero-emissions vehicles from 2025 will “unfairly penalise those making the switch” and disincentive EV uptake. 

“The automotive industry is already delivering growth that bucks the national trend and is poised, with the right framework, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UK economy,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“The industry and market are in transition but fragile, due to a challenging economic outlook, rising living costs and consumer anxiety over new technology.

"We look to a Budget that will reaffirm the commitment to net zero and provide measures that drive green growth for the sector and the nation.”

Following the Nissan Qashqai’s first-place finish last year, the MG HS was this month’s best-performing vehicle. 

The Chinese SUV was followed by the Volkswagen T-Roc, the Nissan Qashqai, the Kia Niro and 2021’s best-seller, the Vauxhall Corsa.

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