Friday 4 December 2020 12:36 pm

New car sales sunk in November, but more UK drivers buying electric and hybrid vehicles

New car sales rolling off UK forecourts declined in November, wiping off £1.3bn in potential revenue.

Around 42,800 new cars were sold last month, down 27 per cent year-on-year.

November’s nationwide lockdown forced showrooms and forecourts to close, leading the industry to record 113,781 new vehicle registrations, a decline to levels not seen since the 2008 recession.

There was a silver lining though, with e-vehicles and hybrid vehicle sales growing market share.

Battery electric vehicle market share of new sales grew to 9.1 per cent.

Plug-in hybrid vehicle market share of new sales increased to 6.8 per cent.

The Ford Fiesta looks on-track to be the most popular new purchase model for 2020

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said:

“With £1.3bn worth of new car revenue lost in November alone, the importance of showroom trading to the UK economy is evident and we must ensure they remain open in any future Covid restrictions.

Alex Buttle, director of used car marketplace said the rise in non-combustion vehicles was promising, but sales of e-cars had a long way to go.

“Electric and hybrid car sales once again stand out amongst the gloom, with battery electric car registrations in particular continuing to climb upwards at a healthy rate. 

“However, EV numbers are still some way off filling the void left by falling petrol and diesel sales, which were impacted by the Government announcing it was moving the ban on new electric and diesel cars forward to 2030″.