Worst February Since 1959 For New Cars

Thu 4th Mar 2021

There were just over fifty thousand new cars registered in the UK during February as lockdown ensured buyers looked to online click and collect options from market leading websites such as carsupermarket.com.

Data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders today showed that the new car market had declined by 35.5 per cent last month, the worst February uptake since 1959, in what is traditionally a tricky month to shift new cars.

“February is traditionally a small month for car registrations and with showrooms closed for the duration, the decline is deeply disappointing but expected,” said SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes.
“More concerning, however, is that these closures have stifled dealers’ preparations for March with the expectation that this will now be a third, successive dismal ‘new plate month’. Although we have a pathway out of restrictions with rapid vaccine rollout, and proven experience in operating click and collect, it is essential that showrooms reopen as soon as possible so the industry can start to build back better, and recover the £23 billion loss from the past year.”

There was interesting news from the plug-in vehicle market, with both EVs and PHEVs making huge gains in their market share. BEV uptake rose by 40.2 per cent, with PHEVs going up by 52.1 per cent.