The UK new car market grew by 9.5% in November to reach 156,525 units, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The market’s best November in four years, saw fleets drive growth with registrations rising 25.4% to account for 93,049 units and 59.4% of the market.
Year to date, BEV uptake is up 27.5% with a 16.3% market share – expected to rise to 22.3% next year. November proved a strong month for both hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), rising by 27.8% and 55.8% respectively.
Fleets also continued to transition to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), buoyed by compelling tax incentives. Of the 24,359 new BEVs reaching the road in November, 77.4% were taken on by fleets and businesses. While overall BEV volumes fell, leading to a reduced market share of 15.6%, this was explained by last November being atypical with significant deliveries following supply chain disruptions since the pandemic.
New regulation coming into force in January mandates that 22% of each manufacturer’s new vehicle registrations must be zero emission, which will further incentives BEV growth.
The SMMT also welcomed the call for a delay to tougher new UK-EU Rules of Origin which would have begun on 1 January 2024. Failure to postpone these rules would have seen EVs traded both ways incur tariffs that would raise prices for consumers at a critical moment in the transition.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Britain’s new car market continues to recover, fuelled by fleets investing in the latest and greenest new vehicles.
“With car makers gearing up to meet their responsibilities under new market legislation, and COP28 currently underway, now is the time to take sensible steps that will multiply that economic growth and minimise carbon emissions.
“Private EV buyers need incentives in line with those that have so successfully driven business uptake – and workable trade rules that promote rather than penalise the transition.”