Zero emission-capable plug-in hybrids experienced a significant decline of 34.4 per cent in April and a fall of 20.4 per cent year-to-date, an evidence of the consequences of prematurely removing upfront purchase incentives before the market is ready (Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images).


DUE to weak consumer demand, the UK new car registrations declined 4.1 per cent in April, when compared to the same period last year, latest industry data showed today (7).

According to the data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), last month saw 161,064 units registered, the second lowest April volume since 2012.

Registrations by private motorists fell 10.3 per cent in April, after a rise of more than 26 per cent in April 2018.

Zero emission-capable plug-in hybrids experienced a significant decline of 34.4 per cent in April and a fall of 20.4 per cent year-to-date, an evidence of the consequences of prematurely removing upfront purchase incentives before the market is ready.

Manufacturers are investing heavily to bring ultra-low and zero emission cars to market, with some 40 plug-in models now available in showrooms, and over 20 more expected to arrive in 2019.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive 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 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.”

Declines were recorded across most vehicle segments. Registrations of popular supermini and small family cars fell by 14.1 per cent and 10.6 per cent respectively in April 2019.

Diesel car registrations again fell by 9.4 per cent last month, but the pace of decline slowed significantly.