UK car registrations increased for the sixth straight month in January on the back of strong demand for hybrid electric vehicles, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, showed on Monday.
Car registrations grew by 14.7 percent on a yearly basis in January, following an 18.3 percent rise in December.
Data showed that 131,994 new cars were registered at the start of the year.
This was the best start to the year since January 2020’s pre-Covid 149,279 units and marks the sixth successive month of expansion, SMMT said.
The continued upturn in January was mostly driven by a 40.6 percent surge in sales of hybrid electric vehicles, comprising 14.4 percent of new car registrations.
Read more: UK Car Production Falls Most In Over 6 Decades Despite Record EV Output
Meanwhile, the battery electric vehicle sales increased 19.8 percent to reach 17,294 units, slightly below the average recorded for 2022.
Plug-in hybrid vehicles recorded a 0.7 percent rise, although their share fell to 6.9 percent of new cars reaching the road. Thus, almost one in five new cars registered this month came with a plug.
According to the latest market outlook, car registrations will go up 11.1 percent in 2023 to reach 1.79 million units despite a straitened economy and strained supply chains, the SMMT said.
“The automotive industry is already delivering growth that bucks the national trend and is poised, with the right framework, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UK economy,” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.
Due to a challenging economic outlook, rising living costs, and consumer anxiety about new technology, the industry and market are in transition, Hawes added.
“We look to a Budget that will reaffirm the commitment to net zero and provide measures that drive green growth for the sector and the nation.”
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