New car deliveries up almost 675% year-on-year

The initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic saw strict lockdowns imposed, with deep drops in economic activity as a result – but the recovery is on for new car deliveries.

New car sales are no exception, and in May 2021 the SMMT reports an increase in new car registrations of nearly 675% compared with the same month of the previous year.

In May 2020, just over 20,000 new cars were registered. In the same month of 2021, that number stood at more than 155,000 new car deliveries.

The year-to-date total is also up, although not by as much – nearly 725,000 cars in 2021 versus just over 500,000 in 2020 – and this is a reflection that the UK’s automobile market was relatively normal in the few months between New Year’s and lockdown.

What are people buying?

While the total number of new car deliveries is interesting, it’s also to be expected. Market activity crashed during lockdown and many motorists will have delayed buying their vehicle until restrictions eased.

As such, we are seeing a lot of catch-up activity, set against a very low number of sales a year ago.
However, within the figures, there are some other interesting comparisons to be drawn. For example, there are differences in the reasons why people are buying new cars in 2021:

  • Private car registrations were up 473% in May.
  • Business car registrations were up 391%.
  • Fleet car registrations were up 1,095%.

The much larger growth in fleet registrations is an indication of the economic recovery that is now underway, as UK companies look to add to their transport options – and may also hint at a shift towards less centralised ways of doing business, after a year of employees working remotely.

A greener post-pandemic market?

SMMT provide separate figures for different fuel types, including battery, hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, as well as ‘mild’ HEVs which have a battery but cannot run on battery power alone.
Across the board, electric vehicles are posting particular interest as the UK begins to emerge from the economic impact of the Coronavirus lockdowns:

  • Battery EV registrations up 441% in May.
  • Hybrid EV registrations up 1,903%.
  • Plug-in hybrid EV registrations up 1,092%.
  • Mild hybrids up 1,822% (petrol) and 1,286% (diesel).

In comparison, conventional petrol-engine car registrations rose 580% year-on-year in May 2021 and conventional diesels were up 349%.
This shows that even battery EVs are outpacing traditional diesel engines as motorists move away from more polluting fuel types, and embrace the rapid charging and enhanced range of the most modern electric cars.

Get new cars delivered safely with Ontime

If you’re buying a new premium car or adding to your business fleet, Ontime Automotive can handle new car deliveries with style and safety.

We even operate electric car transporters, so delivering your new car is as eco-friendly as possible, and we can make sure it arrives at your location with full charge.

To find out more, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you book a new car delivery during this very busy period.