UK Car Registrations Surge 26.2% In February: SMMT

British car registrations increased for the seventh straight month in February on the back of strong demand for battery electric vehicles along with easing supply-chain constraints, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, showed on Monday.

Car registrations showed a double-digit annual growth of 26.2 percent in February following a 14.7 percent rise in January.

Data showed that 74,441 new cars were registered in the middle of the first quarter compared to 58,994 units sold in the same month of 2021.

While February is typically low volume ahead of the March plate change, this year it marked the seventh month of consecutive growth as easing supply chain shortages steered the market closer to pre-pandemic levels, down just 6.5 percent on the same month in 2020, SMMT said.

Growth was evident across almost all the market categories. Sales to private buyers grew 5.8 percent, and those to large fleets jumped 46.2 percent. Business registrations, which account for a fraction of the market, increased 0.7 percent.

Hybrid electric vehicles recorded the most significant sales growth among all fuel types, up 40.0 percent in February compared to last year. This was followed by a 35.8 percent rise in petrol types, while diesel registrations slid by 7.0 percent.

Data also affirmed that zero-emission capable vehicles continued their upward trend in February. Sales of plug-in hybrids rose 1.0 percent and battery electric vehicles logged another strong month, up 18.2 percent to account for one in six new UK car registrations.

“As we move into ‘new plate month’ in March, with more of the latest high-tech cars available, the upcoming Budget must deliver measures that drive this transition, increasing affordability and ease of charging for all,” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.

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