New car registrations to surpass 2 million, says Cox Automotive

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Positivity in the UK’s new car market stems primarily from the ‘healthy’ start to the year for new car registrations, up 10.4% year on year in Q1, according to Cox Automotive.

As a result of activity and performance seen in Q1, baseline forecasts for 2024 suggest registrations will surpass two million cars with potential to stretch beyond 2.2 million.

Philip Nothard, insight director at Cox Automotive, said: “On top of that, consumer doubts about the transition to electric, perhaps fuelled by EV affordability and infrastructure fears, persist.

“Steadfast support from fleet operators has played a crucial role in driving the transition to an electrified market and the recovery of sales volumes. These advancements would undoubtedly be less substantial without their continued backing.”

Despite positive signs from activity in the first quarter, Cox Automotive notes that the market is not back to ‘normal’.

A potential timeline for a return to pre-pandemic normality may be better understood following the next general election and further insight into the ZEV mandate’s impact on the sector.

In Q1, EV registrations were recorded at 15.5% of market share, a year-on-year increase of just 0.1%.

To avoid fines, manufacturers may borrow ZEV allowances, although borrowing is capped and involves a 3.5% annual interest fee. However, there are concerns that reducing volume in the UK may also be seen as an option.

Outside of the UK, manufacturers who once considered the UK market may prefer to put their cars in markets elsewhere as the UK rules are currently stringent.


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