posted 3 months ago

Hybrid & Electric Sales Rocket as Car Market Grows Slowly Overall

May 2018 new car registrations revealed, electric/hybrid sales hit record high, best selling cars - and more

May 2018 UK new car registrations

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In May 2018, hybrid and electric car registrations hit a record high as drivers recognised the environmental, financial, and practical benefits yet the overall new car market only grew slightly in The United Kingdom, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders confirmed. 192,649 new cars found homes which represented a 3.4% rise compared to the equivalent month last year.

Exactly 11,240 of the new cars registered were alternatively fuelled rather than powered by petrol, or diesel, only. That equated to a record 5.8% market share plus a 36.1% increase compared to May 2017. Such vehicles came in various, broad, categories all of which proved increasingly popular. For instance:

  • Plug-in hybrid registrations rose 72.7%
  • Hybrid registrations rose 22.6%
  • Fully electric registrations rose 18.7%

Despite the rises, petrol remained the most popular fuel. 119,149 such cars found homes which equated to 61.8% market share (+ 23.5%). Diesel, in contrast, continued its decent as higher road tax rates, environmental concerns and speculation that such vehicles might be further penalised in the future took its toll. 62,260 were registered which totalled 32.3% market share (- 23.6%).

Fleet, business and private registrations

In May 2018, the fleet market accounted for the largest number of new car registrations but fell compared to the previous year. 103,490 fleet cars found homes (- 0.7%). Business registrations fell too. Only 5,477 cars left the forecourt (- 9.6%). The private sector compensated, though. New registrations hit 83,682 (+ 10.1%).

May 2018 best selling cars

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders further confirmed that supermini and small, family class, vehicles proved most popular in May 2018. Supermini registrations increased 6%, for instance. Small family car registrations rose 1.6%. The top 10 was:

1. Ford Fiesta (6,896)

2. Ford Focus (6,573)

3. Volkswagen Golf (6,372)

4. Nissan Qashqai (4,956)

5. Volkswagen Polo (3,961)

6. Vauxhall Corsa (3,932)

7. MINI (3,505)

8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2,955)

9. Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2,939)

10. Audi A3 (2,791)

2018 new car registrations

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The 2018, year-to-date, figures are strong in any historical context but less impressive than the previous year. January to May registrations totalled 1,079,049 cars which represented a 6.8% fall. “Economic and political uncertainty continued to impact demand”, The Society confirmed. Further year-to-date facts include:

  • Petrol is the most popular fuel (61.9% market share)
  • Diesel registrations are down 30.6% (510,421 to 354,251)
  • Alternative fuel registrations are up 19.5% (47,937 to 57,298)
  • Ford Fiesta is the most popular car (47,515 registrations)
  • Fleet sector is the largest market (50.8% share)

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