Decline In UK New Car Sales

Decline In UK New Car Sales

Decline in Private New Car Purchases in June, Preliminary Figures Show

Purchases of new cars by private buyers declined in June compared to the same month last year, according to preliminary figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Despite this decline, the overall new car market saw slight growth year-on-year, driven by an increase in purchases for fleets owned or leased by businesses and other organizations.

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This growth means that over one million new cars were registered in the first half of the year, marking the first time since 2019 that this milestone has been reached. The overall new car market during the first six months of 2024 was up by around 5% compared to the same period last year.

The market share of pure battery electric new cars remained stable at around 16-17%, consistent with last year's figures.

Ian Plummer, commercial director at online vehicle marketplace Auto Trader, commented on the trend: “June marked the eighth consecutive month of decline in retail sales – quite a contrast to the months of huge demand we’ve been tracking in the used car market. With average new car prices rising almost 40% over the last five years, it’s clear cost is the culprit. Manufacturers are responding with discounts, but they’re failing to keep pace, which is forcing many buyers to opt for a used alternative. Whoever forms the next government needs to address electric car affordability and provide long-term stability for the market.”

The SMMT will release confirmed figures for June at 9am on Thursday.

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