Latest SMMT figures show August decline

UK new car registrations declined by -5.8% and new light commercial vehicle registrations declined by -16.1% in August, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Just over 87,000 cars were registered during what is traditionally the quietest month of the year for new car sales. 

Zero emission-capable vehicles enjoyed a bumper August as a result of new models coming to market, with sales of plug-in hybrids increasing by 221.1%, although they still only accounted for 1 in 30 sales. Registrations of battery electric cars increased by 77.6% in the month, accounting for 6.4% of the market. However, they make up just 4.9% of registrations year-to-date, up from 1.1% in the same period last year. 

In total, 19,407 vans and pickups were registered. Declines were recorded in all classes of vehicles, most notably in vans weighing 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes (-18.2%) and vans weighing less than or equal to 2.0 tonnes (-35.0%). The market was more robust than originally predicted, but LCV registrations are still down by -36.4% year-to-date. 

Read more on the latest vehicle registration data on the SMMT website.