New car sales rise for first time in 7 months

UK new car registrations grew year-on-year for the first time since December 2019 but, due to Covid-19, they are still down 40 percent so far in 2020

A Renault car dealer reopens with Covid-friendly measures

New car registrations grew 11.3 percent in July 2020 following the June reopening of dealerships in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

The June sales increase is the first since December 2019.

Dealership closures due to the coronavirus crisis have had a severe impact on new car registrations and deliveries. They fell 44 percent in March, 97 percent in April, 89 percent in May and 35 percent in June.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says that despite the July recovery, year-to-date registrations are still down almost 42 percent.

‘Pent up demand’

Pent-up demand helped drive July new car registrations to 174,887 vehicles, says the SMMT.

Demand from private buyers was particularly strong, growing 20.4 percent. This was helped by strong finance incentives, with eight of the 10 top brands offering flexible finance initiatives including offset payments.

Fleet car sales, however, only grew 5.2 percent and business car sales actually fell 11.8 percent.

“July’s figures are positive, with a boost from demand pent up from earlier in the year and some attractive offers meaning there are some very good deals to be had,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“We must be cautious, however, as showrooms have only just fully reopened nationwide and there is still much uncertainty about the future.”

Mr Hawes said it will only become clear by the end of September whether the turnaround in new car registrations is part of a long-term trend.

Vauxhall Corsa

June 2020 best-selling cars

1: Vauxhall Corsa

2: Ford Fiesta

3: Ford Focus

4: Volkswagen Golf

5: Mercedes-Benz A-Class

6: Nissan Qashqai

7: Volkswagen Polo

8: Mini

9: Volkswagen Tiguan

10: Ford Kuga


Car industry says new car scrappage-style stimulus ‘critical’

The cheapest new cars on sale

The cheapest new cars from £99 a month

Related Articles

Richard Aucock
I'm director at Motoring Research. I run a bit, cycle a bit, have a huge love for the automotive industry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Government withdraws warning to ‘avoid petrol stations’

The government has clarified advice that appeared to suggest motorists should avoid filling stations, garages and motorway services

Volkswagen T-Roc R (2020) review

The Volkswagen T-Roc R combines the style of an SUV with the speed of a hot hatchback. The best of both worlds, then?

McLaren 765LT (2020) review

Lighter, faster and more focused, the new 'Longtail' 765LT is McLaren at its best. We drive it flat-out at Silverstone.

Highways England to make motoring easier for disabled drivers

New measures designed to help the five percent of drivers with a disability include guides to motorway service areas with 360-degree images.