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July sees fleet car sales decline

Date: 05 August 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The number of new cars registered to fleets was down by 4.7% last month, forming part of the worst July for overall new car sales since 2012. 

The market as a whole was down by 4.1% year-on-year - also the fifth month of decline in a row - with private registrations down by 2% and business registrations - to fleets with fewer than 25 vehicles - down by 22.5%, though the latter make up a small fraction of the market. 

The figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) also reveal another steep decline in diesel registrations - down by 22.1% - while petrol car registrations were up by 2.6%.

There was wide variation in the alternative fuels market, with hybrid registrations up by 34.2%, plug-in hybrid registrations down by 49.6%, and pure electric cars up by 158.1%, taking their highest ever share of the overall market at 1.4%.

The overall new car market for the year to date is currently down by 3.5% compared with 2018.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "Despite yet another month of decline in the new car market, it's encouraging to see substantial growth in zero emission vehicles. Thanks to manufacturers' investment in these new technologies over many years, these cars are coming to market in greater numbers than ever before. 

"If the UK is to meet its environmental ambitions, however, government must create the right conditions to drive uptake, including long-term incentives and investment in infrastructure. 

"The fastest way to address air quality concerns is through fleet renewal so buyers need to be given the confidence to invest in the new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs, regardless of how they are powered."