"September is an important plate change month in the industry and it is positive that new vehicle sales have continued to rise despite the uncertainty created by the UK Government change of policy on EV. In a snap poll to members, 39% of dealers rated their trading performance as good during the month. ” 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 272,610 new cars were registered, an increase of 21% from the same period last year. Sales to private buyers increased by 5.8%; fleet registrations were up by 40.8%.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) experienced significant growth, up 18.9% to 45,323 units. Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations increased by 50.9% to 18,535 units, and hybrids (HEVs) followed with growth of 30.7% to 38,014 units. There are now 238,544 registered BEVs on the road in 2023 compared to the 175,614 at the same point last year, a 35.8% increase.

With sales of electric growing, diesel fell from 10,330 units to 9,896 (-4.2%), but petrol has risen from 91,679 units to 105,463 units (15%).

Sue Robinson added: “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.”



Adam Weeks, NFDA Communications Officer

Direct: 020 7307 3413

Mobile: 0788 003 9897

Email: adam.weeks@rmif.co.uk