Toyota Prius Plug-In

Charging ahead: plug-in hybrid car sales leap by a third

Toyota Prius Plug-In

If you bought a new car last month, you were one of a 168,898 people that helped fortify this July’s stronger-looking sales figures. That number represents a 1.2 percent increase in cars sold versus July 2017.

While sales to businesses with fleets of 25 cars or less were down by a fairly hefty 10.2 percent, those to larger fleets were up 2.6 percent, with sales to private buyers just edging up by 0.1 percent.

We’re buying different types of cars, too. Diesel-engined vehicles continue to fall – by 24.4 percent – with petrol rising by 20.1 percent and alternative-fuel vehicles enjoying a rise in popularity of 21 percent.

Plug-in hybrids enjoyed a year-on-year leap in popularity of 33.5 percent – yes, a whole third. Hybrid registrations grew by 17.5 percent, while pure electric cars are yet to boom in full, with a comparatively small increase in popularity of 2.4 percent. Watch this space.

While still being 5.5 percent down year-to-date, the car market is on its way to being back on track, and is performing in accordance with expectations.

Ford Fiesta

As for the most popular buys, the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf retain their respective first and second places, while the Volkswagen Polo enjoyed a particularly fruitful July as the third best-seller. The Mini, meanwhile, may be the seventh best-seller of the year so far, but it didn’t even place in the top 10 for July new car sales.

“The feel-good factor from a sun and sport-packed July, combined with some fantastic deals on a raft of exciting new models, clearly helped keep showrooms relatively busy last month,” said Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“It’s great to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this growth, and government’s acknowledgement of the vital role new-tech diesel will play in its Road to Zero strategy should help more even more motorists benefit from the latest, safest and low emission technology over the coming months.