Currently reading: UK PHEV registrations rise 72.1% as overall sales drop
August fall likely caused by the semiconductor shortage and the September numberplate change

New car registrations in the UK fell 22% year on year in August, but the uptake of electrified vehicles remained strong. 

A total of 68,033 new cars were registered in what was the weakest August since 2013, with a 7.6% drop compared to the decade average, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Demand for battery electric (BEV), hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles improved despite the drop, up 32.2%, 45.7% and 72.1% respectively. 

The overall drop in sales was likely caused by the impacts of the ongoing global semiconductor shortage and the September numberplate change, according to the SMMT.

Figures are still below pre-pandemic levels, although 1,101,302 new cars have been registered this year - an improvement of 20.3% over 2020.

“While August is normally one of the quietest months for UK new car registrations, these figures are still disappointing, albeit not wholly surprising,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“The global shortage of semiconductors has affected UK, and indeed global, car production volumes, so new car registrations will inevitably be undermined.

"Government can help by continuing the supportive Covid measures in place currently – especially the furlough scheme, which has proven invaluable to so many businesses.

“As we enter the important September plate-change month with an ever-increasing range of electrified models and attractive deals, buyers in the market for the new 71-plate can be reassured that manufacturers are doing all they can to ensure prompt deliveries.”

The Ford Puma topped the UK sales rankings for August, with 1801 units sold, followed closely by the Volkswagen Polo.

The Vauxhall Corsa has had the most successful year-to-date sales figures, with 27,381 examples sold since last August.


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scotty5 7 September 2021

As we enter the important September plate-change month with an ever-increasing range of electrified models and attractive deals,

Attractive deals!  I'm sure there are many potential car buyers out there wanting to know where these attractive deals can be found.

Peter Cavellini 6 September 2021

@xxxx, There was talk of a thirty hour Week?, less hours,but, work harder? , we're bringing up a generation of kids, future Adults who think there entitled, they expect to get given not earned the stuff you and I had to work for.

xxxx 6 September 2021

Continue the Furlough scheme, you're having a laugh at the tax payers expense SMMT