The UK new car market remained steady in August, with just 1,521 fewer cars registered than in the same month last year. Registrations fell by -1.6% in what is typically one of the smallest months of the year, as falling demand for diesel and plug-in hybrid vehicles continued to impact the overall market.

Registrations from both the private and fleet sectors declined in the month, down -1.7% and -3.5% respectively, as demand in the small volume business segment increased by some 962 units.

Meanwhile, diesel registrations fell for the 29th month in a row, though at a slower pace than recently experienced (-12.2%), while petrol demand remained stable, up 1.0%. Zero emission cars saw the biggest percentage growth, up 377.5%, to 3,147 units as new models and some pent up demand boosted registrations, while 4,014 hybrid electric cars also joined UK roads, an uplift of 36.2%. However, the decline in plug-in hybrid registrations continued, down -71.8% to just 907 vehicles.

UK new car buyers can now choose from a huge range of technologies to suit their lifestyles and driving needs. In addition to the cleanest-ever petrols and diesels, the UK’s alternatively fuelled offering now includes some 27 hybrids, 27 plug-in hybrids, and 24 zero emission battery electric and hydrogen models.

Exciting new powertrain technologies, the result of massive manufacturer investment, are now rapidly coming to market – with the range set to almost double over the coming year. However, with demand still lagging behind ambitious government targets, it is clear that much more needs to be done, and quickly, to address consumer concerns over cost and infrastructure to make this emerging technology more accessible.

Image source: SMMT