January has seen a decline in British new car registrations while electric vehicle sales continue to grow rapidly

 In News

According to SMMT, the headlines are:

  • New car market down by 1.6% in January to 161,013 which implies continuous market uncertainty
  • Private ownership increases at the start of 2019, but it is not sufficient enough to compensate for the steady decline of new fleet and business ownership
  • The demand for EV’s continues to increase by 26.3% year on year

Based on the latest data provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, January 2019 has seen a -1.6% decline in the British new car market.

With 161,013 new cars registered in Britain, consumer attention is being diverted towards electric vehicles at an increasing rate, based on the start of 2019.

Private sales increased by 2.9%, while business sales declined by -33.5%. At the same time, fleet purchases declined by -3.4%.

EV sales faced an impressive increase of 26.3%, which goes along with the latest forecasts in this market, which forecast to show approximately 177,000 units by the final quarter of 2019. The plug-in market share saw an increase to around 3.7%.

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes said, “It’s encouraging to see car registrations in January broadly on par with a year ago as the latest high-tech models and deals attracted buyers into showrooms. This, however, is still the fifth consecutive month of overall decline in the market. To restore momentum, we need supportive policies, not least on vehicle taxation, to encourage buyers to invest in new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs – from the latest petrols and diesels to an ever-growing range of exciting electrified vehicles. This would be good for the environment and good for the industry and those who depend on it.”


EV car sales are on a steady increase, meaning positive change towards a more sustainable future in Britain.

At the same time, an increase in January sales, which align closely to last years’ January performance, is a positive sign for the industry overall.

Compared to January 2018, alternative fuelled vehicles have increased by 1.5% which reiterates the growing market.


January is the 5th consecutive month signifying the overall decline of the market, which presents a demand for more supportive governmental input towards new technologies, specifically more sustainable modes of travel.