New car registrations in the UK rose by 16pc to 567,108 units in January-April 2021 compared with the prior-year period, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Electric vehicles and hybrids accounted for almost 40pc of sales for the same timeframe.
In April, new car sales stood at 141,583 units compared with 4,321 units in the same month last year when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the country. However, this number was still lower than around 160,000 cars sold in April 2019. The SMMT attributed the growth in sales to the reopening of showrooms after a three-month closure, leading to pent-up demand being exerted. It added that full impact is yet to be understood as some cars take weeks to be delivered/registered after the customers place their orders.
The SMMT has raised its forecast for the full year 2021 to 1.86mn units from 1.83mn units earlier, owing to the easing of COVID-19 related shutdowns and increased vaccination rollouts.