New car registrations were down by 22% year-on-year in August, a fall blamed on continuing semiconductor-related production issues affecting the motor industry.

While August 2020 was a particularly strong month as dealers reopened following the first UK Covid-19 lockdown, last month’s figures were also 7.6% down on the average seen over the last decade.

Fleet registrations were particularly affected, down by 27.5% year-on-year, while private registrations were down by 15.2%.

It was however another strong month for electrified car sales, with pure EVs, conventional hybrids and plug-in hybrids up by 32.2%, 45.7% and 72.1% respectively.

The figures were released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, whose chief executive Mike Hawes said: “While August is normally one of the quietest months for UK new car registrations these figures are still disappointing, albeit not wholly surprising. 

“The global shortage of semiconductors has affected UK, and indeed global, car production volumes so new car registrations will inevitably be undermined. Government can help by continuing the supportive Covid measures in place currently, especially the furlough scheme which has proven invaluable to so many businesses.

“As we enter the important September plate-change month with an ever-increasing range of electrified models and attractive deals, buyers in the market for the new 71 plate can be reassured manufacturers are doing all they can to ensure prompt deliveries.”