In the ever-evolving landscape of the UK automotive industry, September has once again proven its significance as a pivotal month for new vehicle registrations. Surprisingly, the market has shown resilience even in the face of recent policy shifts by the UK government regarding electric vehicles (EVs).

During the month of September, a remarkable 272,610 new cars were registered, marking an impressive 21% increase compared to the same period last year. Notably, sales to private buyers witnessed a 5.8% uptick, while fleet registrations soared by an astonishing 40.8%.

During these market dynamics, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a standout category. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) experienced substantial growth, recording an 18.9% increase with 45,323 units registered. Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations also saw a significant surge, up by 50.9% to 18,535 units, while hybrids (HEVs) followed suit with a growth rate of 30.7%, amounting to 38,014 units. Impressively, the number of registered BEVs on the road in 2023 has reached 238,544, compared to 175,614 at the same point last year, marking a substantial 35.8% increase.

In this evolving landscape, traditional fuel sources are experiencing shifts in demand. Diesel sales witnessed a slight decrease, falling from 10,330 units to 9,896 (-4.2%), while petrol-powered vehicles saw a notable uptick, rising from 91,679 units to 105,463 units (15%).

Sue Robinson commented, "Recent policy changes in relation to ULEZ and the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles has created uncertainty in the industry. In a recent poll, NFDA found that 62% of surveyed dealers are expecting demand for EVs to decrease and 80% feel that the UK Government needs to introduce more price incentives for consumers. However, franchised dealers are nimble and footfall at dealerships remains steady, with 45% of dealers saying it was at a similar level to the previous month, despite the regulatory upheaval. NFDA continues to lobby on our members behalf to get clarity on future policy and help the automotive sector serve UK consumers”.

Source: SMMT