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Fleet car sales rise despite overall market fall

Date: 07 May 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The number of new cars registered to UK fleets in April rose by 2.9% year-on-year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This increase came despite a 4.1% decline in the overall market, for which a 10.3% fall in private registrations was largely to blame.

Business registrations - classed as to firms with fewer than 25 vehicles - were down by 32.7%, but these represent only 2% of the overall market.

In terms of fuel mix, diesel was once again down, by 9.4%. Petrol car registrations also fell, by 3%.

Registrations of alternatively-fuelled vehicles were up by 12.7%, taking 6.4% of the overall market - however the SMMT said it was concerned about a 34.4% fall in plug-in hybrid registrations.

While fully electric car sales were up from 929 to 1,517 units, this was still less than 1% of the overall market.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "While it's great to see buyers respond to the growing range of pure electric cars on offer, they still only represent a tiny fraction of the market and are just one of a number of technologies that will help us on the Road to Zero [the government strategy to reduce vehicle emissions].

"Industry is working hard to deliver on this shared ambition, providing ever-cleaner cars to suit every need.

"We need policies that help get the latest, cleanest vehicles on the road more quickly and support market transition for all drivers.

"This includes investment in infrastructure and long-term incentives to make new technologies as affordable as possible."

The Ford Fiesta was once again the UK's bestselling car in April, with 5,606 registrations.

Next best was the Ford Focus with 4,565 registrations. The top five was completed by the Volkswagen Golf (3,953), the Nissan Qashqai (3,791), and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (3,584).