New car registration in March 2021 were up on 2020 by 11.5 per cent, but down by 36.9 per cent on a 10-year March average.
March 2020 new car registrations were the first to be affected by the first Covid lockdown, so, despite car showrooms remaining closed, it’s welcome news that figures for March 2021 are up by 11.5 per cent on last year, thanks in no small part to car makers getting their ‘Click and Collect’ systems working well.
That’s seen new registrations of 283,964, a big achievement, although well down on the 450,189 March average over the last decade.
But there’s clearly some reluctance to buy for private buyers, with private registrations falling by 4.1 per cent, more than made up for by a strong 28.7 per cent increase in fleet sales. Clearly business buyers are far less wary of remote buying than private buyers.
Behind the numbers, plug-in vehicle sales continue their rise, with a combined market share of 13.7 pre cent – getting on for double last year’s numbers.
Best-sellers in March were the Vauxhall Corsa at the top, followed by the Ford Focus and Mercedes A-Class, with the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Puma the only ‘SUVs’ to make it in to the top 10.
Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO, said:
New plug-in models are already helping drive a recovery but to convince more retail consumers to make the switch, they must be assured these new technologies will be convenient for their driving needs and that means, above all, that the charging infrastructure is there where they need it, and when they need it.