October is an important bellwether following September’s plate change, and it is positive that the market has now experienced fifteen months of continued growth for the automotive sector despite external hardships including the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and the uncertainty surrounding governmental policies.

A total of 153,529 new cars were registered, an increase of 14.3% from the same period last year. Sales to private buyers increased by 0.3%; fleet registrations were up by 28.8%.

  • There are now 262,487 registered BEVs on the road in 2023 compared to the 195,547 at the same point last year, a 34.2% increase.
  • Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations increased by 60.5% to 14,285 units.
  • Hybrids (HEVs) followed with growth of 24.6% to 19,574 units.

As the electric vehicle market thrives, diesel registrations saw a decrease from 6,347 units to 5,26, while petrol registrations rose from 56,993 units to 62,303 units (9.3%).

NFDA’s recent Consumer Attitude Survey has highlighted that the lack of charging infrastructure does not instil confidence in prospective EV consumers with 57% of respondents alluding to this. Additionally, 67% of respondents indicated that price remains the key barrier to EV adoption.

Sue Robinson commented: “We look towards the upcoming Autumn Statement on 22 November for the government to provide clarity on policy in the sector, particularly regarding EVs. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see from the figures that EV numbers have increased despite the recent announcement by Rishi Sunak to push back the phasing out of ICE vehicles from 2030 to 2035.