The UK’s new car market enjoyed marginal growth in February, up 1.4% following five straight months of decline. 81,969 new cars were registered on UK roads in the month (a year on year uplift of 1,164 units), traditionally one of the quietest of the year, ahead of the crucial March plate change.

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to surge, up 34.0% and marking the 22nd consecutive month of growth for the segment as new and existing cutting-edge models attracted buyers into showrooms. Registrations of zero-emission electric cars enjoyed particular growth, more than doubling to 731 units, although they still accounted for less than 1% of the market (0.9%).

Meanwhile, in the four months since the October 2018 reform to the Plug-in Car Grant, the market for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) has only grown by 1.7%, compared with 29.5% over the first 10 months of 2018. This suggests that removing the incentive for PHEVs is having an adverse effect.

Image source: SMMT