UK new passenger car registrations saw a marginal decline of -1.6% in October with a total of 140,945 units registered according to the latest SMMT’s new passenger car registration figures.

Despite an overall marginal -1.6% decline in new car sales in October, new car registrations from private buyers remained stable (+0.4%) showing the importance for dealerships to operate under conditions that enable them to safely meet the current consumer demand

Sales of battery electric vehicles rose by 195.2% and plug-in hybrids grew by 148.7%.

It was encouraging to see the continued, strong growth in the battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle segments, up by 195.2% and 148.7% respectively. Dealers continue to make significant efforts to inform their customers and help them choose the low emission vehicle that is right for them, with NFDA Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) recognising dealers’ hard work. Sales of diesel cars saw a decline of -38.4% and petrol was down -21.3%.

Over the past months, dealers have experienced large volumes of online enquiries and we expect this to continue through November. Dealers will continue to comply with the regulations to arrange the delivery of cars and, where possible, meet customers’ aftersales servicing needs, in particular, to support key workers and all those who need a car to go to work or for other essential needs.

Vehicle showrooms were the first industry sector to reopen on 1 June, operating to Covid-secure guidelines. There is no evidence that dealerships have caused the spread of Covid-19 and shutting showrooms for four weeks can damage the livelihoods of the 590,000 people employed in vehicle retail as well as the 168,000 people employed in vehicle manufacturing.