Year of growth for new car market

Registrations of new cars were up by more than a quarter in July compared with the same month last year.

A full year of growth has been recorded by the UK’s new car market, an industry body said.

Registrations of new cars were up by more than a quarter in July compared with the same month last year, according to preliminary figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

That represented the 12th consecutive monthly year-on-year increase, as global supply shortages continue to ease.

New battery electric vehicles (BEVs) took a 16% market share in July.

The SMMT anticipates the figure will rise to nearly 23% across the whole of next year.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 remains Government policy.

He has been under mounting pressure over the measure after more than 40 Conservative MPs and peers wrote to him calling for the deadline to be pushed back, claiming the ban will cause “grave harm” to the economy and leave drivers “worse off”.

Responding to the SMMT’s figures, Ian Plummer, commercial director at online vehicle marketplace Auto Trader, said: “Despite healthy electric registrations in July, consumer interest in EVs was flat last month according to Auto Trader advert views.

“That’s a disappointing but reliable indicator of where sales are heading, and not sufficient in what should be a period of rapid growth in adoption.

“Given the recent headlines on the 2030 ban, this isn’t surprising.

“Our political leaders are swayed by siren voices saying that abandoning green policies is the solution to our problems.

“That’s a dangerous path to go down and those voices both underestimate what can be achieved and further harm the mass adoption of EVs vehicles by spreading uncertainty and confusion.”

Final new car registration figures for July will be announced by the SMMT at 9am.

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