"September, an important plate change month for the motor retail industry, has seen an increase in registrations compared to 2021. This increase is a positive for the industry, particularly given the closure of dealerships due to the Monarch’s funeral and consumer uncertainty before the UK Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme.” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT’s new passenger car registration figures.

In September, a total of 225,269 new cars were registered, an increase of 4.6% from the same period last year. Sales to business buyers grew by 70.5%; fleet registrations were also up 12.5%.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) experienced moderate growth, up 16.5% to 38,116 units. Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations declined by 11.5% to 12,281 units, whilst hybrids (HEVs) increased by 16.5% to 29,088 units. There are now 175,614 registered BEVs on the road in 2022 compared to the 125,141 at the same point last year, a 40.3% increase.

With sales of electric growing, diesel fell from 117,605 units to 67,023 (-43%), and petrol has fallen from 621,598 units to 525,799 units (-15.4%).

Sue Robinson added: “Flattening consumer demand, driven by rising inflation, combined with tight supply in both new and used vehicles, driven by macro-economic factors, will continue to create challenging trading conditions for all in the automotive sector. NFDA feels that the Government must act now to support this important sector for the UK economy, which employs over 540,000 people.”