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Deloitte comments on SMMT January 2024 car sales figures

Jamie Hamilton, automotive partner and head of electric vehicles at Deloitte, said:

“The beginning of 2024 started off on a strong footing, with new car sales continuing to rise as business optimism encouraged investment in fleets.

“Although private sales were down year-on-year, improved consumer spending power could quickly see this change. A Deloitte survey of 3,200 consumers conducted in December 2023 showed how the number of people planning to buy a new car in the next three months rose from 4.3% in Q3 2023, to 6.6% in Q4 – the highest it’s been since 2017.

“However when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs), the majority of consumers still remain hesitant due to a number of concerns, including charging infrastructure and price. Deloitte’s Global Automotive Consumer Study, found less than one in ten (9%) would prefer a new and used battery electric vehicle (BEV) as their next car, down from 11% last year.

“This hesitancy around EVs won’t go away unless efforts to install more public charging points near peoples’ homes are accelerated. Our research shows that consumers are more than twice as likely to be interested in an EV if they have access to off-street parking and at home charging facilities.

“Affordability is also an issue, with the majority of consumers (86%) expecting to spend less than £50k for an EV. A number of affordable EV models are expected to enter the market over the next year which should drive growth in this sector.”