New registrations in July show growth in car market

July saw a battery electric car registered every sixty seconds and the overall car market growing by 28.3 per cent, according to figures from the SMMT.

Best selling Ford Puma
Best selling Ford Puma - AdobeStock

A total of 143,921 new vehicles were registered in July, marking continuous growth for a full year but still behind pre-pandemic levels. The Ford Puma led the way with 4,124 registrations, followed by the Kia Sportage (3,060), and the Nissan Qashqai (3,032).

Company registrations drove the growth, as uptake by large fleets increased 61.9 per cent to 80,961 units and business registrations rose 28.7 per cent to 2,915 new vehicles. Private demand remained stable at 60,045 units, which is up 0.3 per cent.

Electrified vehicles accounted for 35.4 per cent of the market. Hybrid (HEV) volumes grew, but their overall market share fell to 11.3 per cent. Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) registrations saw an uplift for the second consecutive month as uptake rose 79.1 per cent to account for 8.1 per cent of the market. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) recorded an 87.9 per cent increase to account for 16.0 per cent of all new registrations.


SMMT estimated that a battery electric car was registered every 60 seconds in July and, according to the latest market outlook, will increase to one every 50 seconds by the end of the year, and up to one every 40 seconds by the end of 2024.


The trade association warned that motorists need more support if they are to switch from petrol and diesel, but acknowledged progress in the roll-out of new standard public chargers. Over the last quarter, 3,056 chargers were installed, which SMMT said was equal to one new charger for every 35 new plug-in vehicles registered compared to the same quarter last year when the ratio was one for every 58 cars. However, the installation rate must treble to almost 10,000 chargers per quarter, every quarter if the government is to meet its minimum target of 300,000 chargepoints by 2030.

In a statement, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “The industry remains committed to meeting the UK’s zero emission deadlines and continues to make the investments to get us there. Choice and innovation in the market are growing, so it’s encouraging to see more people switching on to the benefits of driving electric. With inflation, rising costs of living and a zero emission vehicle mandate that will dictate the market coming next year, however, consumers must be given every possible incentive to buy. Government must pull every lever, therefore, to make buying, running and, especially, charging an EV affordable and practical for every driver in every part of the country.”

The latest market outlook now anticipates overall new car registrations to reach 1.847 million by the end of the year, a 0.9 per cent rise on expectations in April. Of these, BEVs are expected to take a 17.8 per cent market share or 330,000 units, a slight decrease on April’s outlook, while PHEVs are set to achieve 7.2 per cent of the market with 134,000 units.