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Deloitte comments on SMMT new car registration figures

05 April 2023

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

“New car registrations grew, year on year, by 18.2%, marking the eighth consecutive month of sales growth as the sector slowly recovers from a period of strained supply chains.

“The launch of the new ‘23’ registration plate saw an uptick in demand across both the private (+1.4%) and fleet (+40.9%) markets. March is traditionally the single most important month for the automotive industry, with around a fifth of all new sales for the year recorded in the month as buyers demand the latest number plate. However, ongoing supply issues last year saw sales drop to their lowest levels in decades, meaning that today’s growth is measured against a low base.

“March also marked the largest volume of EV sales ever, with Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) now commanding a 16.2% share of the market. When combined with plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), EVs accounted for more than one in five of all new cars sold in March.

“Building on this growth in the EV market will require greater investment in charging infrastructure and improved access to charging points. Access would particularly benefit from simplicity around how consumers pay for charging - our research shows 55% would prefer to pay via credit or debit cards - and greater availability for those without off-street parking. However, last week’s government consultation on zero-emission regulation for the UK car and van market is welcome, particularly for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who will benefit from ‘ZEV’ credits that can be traded between companies.”