Expert Blog

Car registration figures show AFVs are still going strong

It’s been a while since we last blogged about the latest car registration statistics - we have been waiting for another quarter’s worth of data before we returned to the subject. Well, thanks to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, we now have that quarter’s worth of data.

What does the data reveal? In the month of June itself, a total of 255,766 new cars were registered, which is actually 0.8 per cent lower than the total from June last year. It’s only a slight decline, but it’s a decline nonetheless, and just the second to occur in the past 52 months.

AFV registrations rise

However, there has been an extremely encouraging 22 per cent increase in the number of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) being registered, with 80,856 registered in the year to this June.

The market share of AFVs is still just 3.0 per cent, but a year before it was 2.6 per cent, and a year before that it was 1.7 per cent. And with electric cars becoming cheaper and more viable, whilst politicians such as London’s Sadiq Khan do more to penalise the dirtiest vehicles, we’re sure those numbers are going to keep on rising - and we’ll check on our prophecy when the next quarter’s worth of registration statistics is released.

The data also looks a lot healthier when we consider periods larger than just June. A total of 648,856 new cars were registered in the second quarter of this year – i.e. in the months of April, May and June – which is 1.0 per cent higher than in the equivalent period last year. If we include the first quarter as well, then 1,420,636 new cars were registered in the first six months of this year. This isn’t just 3.2 per cent higher than the first half of last year, it’s also the biggest six-month total ever recorded.

The graph below spans an even longer time period and, in doing so, really captures the buoyancy of the UK car market. In the year to this June, some 2,677,250 new cars were registered, which is the second-highest annual total ever:

However, as we’ve found in the past, it’s not necessarily the overall number of car registrations that stands out the most. Our graph also breaks them down according to their fuel types. It turns out that 1,304,188 petrol cars were registered in the year to June, an increase of 5.5 per cent on last year’s figure. The total for diesel cars was 1,292,206, which is 2.3 per cent higher.

Overall, our industry looks healthier than ever in more ways than one, when you consider the rise in AFV registrations. We'll find out whether the trends shown above continue in the next quarter and publish our findings here.

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