New car registrations fell by 34.4 per cent last month making it the worst September on record according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In a blow for the automobile sector just 215,312 new cars were sold in September 2021 – up from lows of 68,033 in August – but a far cry from monthly sales above 300,000 seen a year prior.
James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, commented on the figures saying: “The traditional September boost from the arrival of new registration plates was nowhere to be seen. August’s sales figures were lacklustre, but September’s fall in sales was an out and out disappointment.”
It comes as production lines worldwide are hit hard by labour and supply shortages which are expected to last well into 2022. In August 27 per cent less cars left UK factories while engine production fell by 24 per cent amid a worldwide semi conductor chip shortage, an essential item used in the manufacturing process.
Despite disappointing results for new cars the data reflected growing environmental concerns amongst consumers.
Diesel cars took the biggest hit across the new cars market with sales diving by 77.3 per cent as the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles nears. Meanwhile, sales of new battery electric vehicles jumped by 49.4 per cent with market share more than doubling from 6.7 per cent in September 2020 to 15.2 per cent last month.
Alex Buttle, the Director of used car marketplace Motorway.co.uk, said, “the EV market has been a major beneficiary of the fuel supply crisis that has swept across the country. While hugely disruptive, the supply shortages will accelerate the journey from people questioning their current car ownership to going fully electric, particularly in London.”
As delays to the car manufacturing process continue to bite, the used car market is feeling the benefit.