Currently reading: Tesla Model Y and Model 3 top sales chart as registrations plummet
American EVs surge to top spots as supply-chain issues cause a dramatic downturn in new-car registrations

The Tesla Model Y was the best-selling car in the UK last month, followed closely by its Tesla Model 3 sibling, amid a backdrop of declining registrations caused by ongoing supply-chain issues.

Tesla registered 6464 examples of the SUV and 6457 of the saloon, both some way ahead of the Vauxhall Corsa in third place, with 5515, and the Nissan Qashqai in fourth, with 5401.

Importantly, Tesla's monthly registrations tend to surge following a shipment of UK cars, as the firm bulk-registers imported cars at the port. 

The figures reflect the ongoing shake-up of the UK's traditional best-sellers list – with the once best-selling Ford Fiesta coming in at number 10 with 3890, for example – as parts shortages continue to restrict output for many of the world's largest manufacturers.

As a result, new-car registrations in March dipped 14.3% year on year to just 243,479.

March is traditionally a bumper month for car sales as the new-year numberplate is introduced, with around 20% of the year's registrations taking place. 

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that last month was the weakest March since 1998, before the UK switched to a 'two-plate' system (whereby the numberplate changes in March and September). 

The SMMT cited the ongoing semiconductor shortage as a primary cause of the downturn but also noted that uncertainty surrounding the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine, rising energy and material costs and a "squeeze on household incomes" as factors inhibiting both supply and demand for new cars. 

It said: "The result is massively disappointing for the sector and underscores the long-term impact the pandemic is wreaking on the industry.

"In spite of the rollback of pandemic restrictions, which limited the industry to ‘click and collect’ in the first part of 2021, overall Q1 registrations for 2022 were down 1.9%."

Because dealerships were closed to customers in March 2021 in line with social-distancing rules, there was an 8.2% uptick in private registrations in March 2022, but that was tempered by a massive 34.4% decline in demand from fleet buyers. 

In terms of demand for powertrain types, it was another month of growth for electric cars, some 39,315 examples of which left dealerships (a 78.7% year-on-year increase).

EVs now have a 16.1% market share in the UK, with the SMMT noting that the amount sold in March 2022 outnumbers the tally for the whole of 2019.

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The SMMT notes: "With grants for BEVs ongoing until at least next March, however, interest rates still low and electric cars benefiting from lower running costs, there are significant benefits for drivers who can order new vehicles now."

Meanwhile, demand for plug-in hybrids dropped by 7.5%, petrol cars by 25.6% and – in reflection of an ongoing shift away from the fuel – diesel cars by 55.2%. 

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes called the March decline "deeply disappointing" and said it "lays bare the challenges ahead".

He continued: "While demand remains robust, this decline illustrates the severity of the global semiconductor shortage as manufacturers strive to deliver the latest, lowest-emission vehicles to eagerly awaiting customers. 

"Placing orders now will be beneficial for those looking to take advantage of incentives and lower running costs for electric vehicles, especially as the Ukraine crisis could affect supply still further. 

"With increasing household and business costs, government must do all it can to support consumers so that the growth of electric vehicles can be sustained and the UK’s ambitious net-zero timetable delivered."

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Peanut Bro 11 April 2022

Well, I'm not too sure many will actually be left after your typical 3 year lease. Most will disintegrate after a matter of months. On the other hand, Of the few that may survive, they will likely fall into the hands of urchins that dwell on Council estates.

 
Peanut Bro 11 April 2022

well, you must then visit fleurdsign.

Rodester 5 April 2022
6464 mistakes. 6464 broken down Tesla's littering our shores. 6464 Tesla's falling to pieces from incredibly poor build quality. 6464 disgruntled customers.

Meanwhile, thousands of Jaguar I-PACE drivers, simply cruise by, pitying those 6464 victims. Cruise by in premium luxury, opulence and total silence.

Buy a Tesla, buy a liability. Buy a Jaguar, buy a premium experience. An exquisite piece of car design, solid, reliable through and through.

bol 5 April 2022
Rodester wrote:

6464 mistakes. 6464 broken down Tesla's littering our shores. 6464 Tesla's falling to pieces from incredibly poor build quality. 6464 disgruntled customers. Meanwhile, thousands of Jaguar I-PACE drivers, simply cruise by, pitying those 6464 victims. Cruise by in premium luxury, opulence and total silence. Buy a Tesla, buy a liability. Buy a Jaguar, buy a premium experience. An exquisite piece of car design, solid, reliable through and through.

Are you on drugs?

rickerby 9 April 2022
Rodester wrote:

6464 mistakes. 6464 broken down Tesla's littering our shores. 6464 Tesla's falling to pieces from incredibly poor build quality. 6464 disgruntled customers. Meanwhile, thousands of Jaguar I-PACE drivers, simply cruise by, pitying those 6464 victims. Cruise by in premium luxury, opulence and total silence. Buy a Tesla, buy a liability. Buy a Jaguar, buy a premium experience. An exquisite piece of car design, solid, reliable through and through.

 

sounds like the rantings of a complete maniac! You sure get some nutters on these car websites 

harf 5 April 2022

Just curious who's going to be able to afford all these Teslas when they come off lease and are available secondhand with no BIK or subsidies, unlike when they were new?

 

Alfastud 5 April 2022

Me I suppose, if I wanted one. But a used Tesla appeals about as much as a used washing machine or fridge.

Paul Dalgarno 5 April 2022
Alfastud wrote:

Me I suppose, if I wanted one. But a used Tesla appeals about as much as a used washing machine or fridge.

 

Shame your bigoted views don't let you go and try one then. I had a last generation 3 Series, and then a Model 3. The Model 3 is way better in most regards. So explain why a used Tesla is a problem, and is like a washing machine? Just an uninformed view typed like verbal diahorrea without having tried one. Now a top 10 selling car month after month in the UK, so it seems plenty of people are stupid to buy one according to you. 

lambo58 5 April 2022

I am in total agreement with you. The model 3 is now a well built car and my wife is now on her second one with significantly superior build from her first one. ( which she sold within 2 days of putting it up for sale on Autotrader ) I think its a wonderful car and those dinosaurs who havent tried one need to try one or at least stop talking crap when they havent even tried one. Laughable twits.

Alfastud 5 April 2022

I did try one Paul, and I didn't like it. It was a characterless touchscreen-on-wheels. And I never said Tesla buyers were stupid - a lot of people just want mobility appliances, and I don't doubt they're happy with them.

Paul Dalgarno 5 April 2022
harf wrote:

Just curious who's going to be able to afford all these Teslas when they come off lease and are available secondhand with no BIK or subsidies, unlike when they were new?

 

Same people who buy the used Audi's, BMW's, and Merc's. Like it or not the Model 3 is a damned good car. 

harf 5 April 2022

I wasn't questioning how good they were, widely acclaimed.

i was more curious how so many people can afford £40k+ cars in this country. 

rickerby 9 April 2022

Ah - making the assumption that because you can't afford one nobody else can. The car market is full of used high value premium cars that don't seem to have any trouble finding homes

Rodester 5 April 2022
Harf, I'm not too sure many will actually be left after your typical 3 year lease. Most will disintegrate after a matter of months. Of the few that do survive, they will likely fall into the hands of urchins that dwell on Council estates.

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