New car demand drops by 8.5 per cent

Consumer demand within Britain’s new car market fell by 8.5 per cent in May, according to new figures released by Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The latest statistics reveal that 186,265 new cars were registered last month, resulting in a total of more than 1.1 million new cars being registered in 2017 to date. This marks a 0.6 per cent fall in new car sales, but sales of alternatively fuelled cars rose to achieve a 4.4 per cent market share.

Such significant changes in consumer preferences can require changes from car dealers, who may need to reassess their stocks of new and used cars to take trends into account. In order to ensure their dealership remains covered by insurance, car dealers should update their motor trade insurance policy regularly based on the types of cars they’re storing and test driving.

According to SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes, the demand is expected to remain negative in the near future as a result of the unexpected rise in new car registrations in March, which saw a record 562,337 car sales ahead of the rise in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in April.

Mr Hawes added that the general election is also likely to reduce the number of new cars purchased as consumers pause ahead of the results.

However, he also suggested that this pause was likely to be a short term issue, adding that the new emphasis from manufacturers on providing more eco-friendly options could help to buffer the effects caused by other concerns.

Commenting on the future of Britain’s new car market, Mr Hawes added: “Although demand has fallen, it’s important to remember that the market remains at a very high level and with a rate of new models packed with the latest low-emission and connected technology coming to market this summer, we expect the market to remain strong over the year.”