New car figures for April reveal an increase in fleet and hybrid electric registrations.
The data comes from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT), which paint a “mixed picture” of the UK car market.
Compared to April 2017, last month saw a rise of 10.4% in new car registrations, with the fleet sector remaining stable thanks to a slight increase in this time.
For April 2018, 87,486 new cars for the fleet sector were registered, in comparison with 86,686 for the corresponding month in 2017 – a rise of 0.7%.
There has been a drop in businesses registering new cars – a fall of 12.9%. The market share for these stands at 2.9%, compared to 3.9% in April 2017.
The popularity of electric vehicles continued to rise however; in April 2018, 9,365 plug-in and hybrid electric cars were registered – a phenomenal rise of 49.3%, which has seen the market share of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) rise from 4.1% in April 2017 to 5.6% last month.
For the year-to-date, the registrations of AFVs have grown by 16.1% when compared with the year before, and the market share is up by 1.1%.
It will be interesting to see if this translates to larger fleet; we have seen a number of companies in the market offering alternatives to diesel engines and with electric charge points and filling stations being installed across the UK, it shows that councils are preparing for the popularity of these vehicles to increase even further.
In terms of the SMMT’s own research, it has revealed a need for waste management fleets to continue important council work – these are becoming more environmentally friendly, with some local authorities already turning to electric vehicles.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, is not surprised by the increases in April.
He said: “It’s important not to look at one month in isolation and, given the major disruption to last April’s market caused by sweeping VED changes, this increase is not unexpected.
“While the continuing growth in demand for plug-in and hybrid cars is positive news, the market share of these vehicles remains low and will do little to offset damaging declines elsewhere.
“Consumers need certainty about future policies towards different fuel types, including diesel, and a compelling package of incentives to deliver long term confidence in the newest technologies.”