Relative stability for new car registrations in October

... except for Audi, which had another shocking month

- Advertisement -

New car registrations were down by just under 3% in October, as the overall market largely recovered from the supply problems that affected September’s results.

Private new car sales were only down by 1% on the same month last year, with fleet registrations down 5%. There was a late surge on plug-in hybrid vehicles, with buyers rushing to buy a new vehicle ahead of the government grant being cut at the end of the month. In the bigger picture, however, this is still a small percentage of the overall new car market.


You may also like:

Stability despite the industry bleatings

As usual, there has been plenty of bluster in press releases this morning about Brexit, diesel, government grants and so on from parties with particular vested interests, but the overall picture is relatively stable despite some topsy-turvy months along the way.

This is not really surprising, as we have pointed out repeatedly, since most new cars are bought or leased on finance agreements that keep the overall market turning over despite individual fluctuations.

October’s results, in fact, lined up pretty closely with the year-to-date averages. Diesel sales were at 32% of the overall market, which is exactly the average result for the first ten months of the year. The growth in alternatively-fuelled vehicles (basically hybrids and electric cars) came at the expense of petrol-powered cars, but not in really significant amounts.

New car registrations October 2018

Audi still mired in WLTP woes

Some manufacturers are still struggling to supply vehicles in the wake of new WLTP emissions rules, and their sales are continuing to suffer as a result. Audi is the most notable example, with registrations down 53% for the second month in a row.

In fact, Audi’s sales drop of more than 7,000 cars was greater than the overall market (about 4,500 cars), Arch-rival BMW appears to have benefitted the most from Audi’s woes, and has comprehensively turned the tables on its Bavarian neighbour in total sales for the year to date.

The other Volkswagen volume brands (VW, SEAT and Skoda) all seem to have completely recovered from their own September shortages, although the premium members of the family (Porsche and Bentley) both had slow months.

It was a strong month for Jaguar Land Rover, despite the company shutting down several production lines in recent weeks due to lack of demand. Jaguar registrations were up by 82% on last year, while Land Rover saw a 32% jump.

Top ten – Volkswagen bounces back

Top ten new car registrations October 2018

There was more shuffling of the best-sellers list in October as WLTP issues continued to affect certain brands and specific models.

After disappearing completely from the top ten list in September, Volkswagen bounced back with a vengeance in October. The Golf rebounded to its previous second place, behind the ever-dominant Ford Fiesta, while the Tiguan jumped up to fourth place and the Polo placed tenth.

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class continues to sell strongly, finishing in third place for the month. Meanwhile, it wasn’t such a good month for the Vauxhall Corsa. After finishing second in September, the Vauxhall supermini fell out of the top ten altogether in October.

- Advertisement -
Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

Latest Expert Advice

Euro NCAP announces big changes to safety testing

Car crash test procedures are getting their biggest overhaul in a decade to improve occupant safety and improve post-crash protection.

The best websites for buying a new or used car

As online car buying becomes more popular thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, which sites should you trust? We round up seven of the top contenders.

Latest Expert Ratings

Nissan X-Trail

Comfortable and practical, but off the pace of the class leaders.

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport has received positive media reviews, with praise for its driving dynamics but criticisms over quality and reliability.

Volkswagen T-Roc goes back to Black

Volkswagen has added a new Black Edition trim level to its compact T-Roc crossover model, with extra kit over the existing SE specification.

Seven-seat Toyota Highlander coming to the UK

Toyota has announced that it will bring its popular seven-seat Highlander large SUV to the UK for the first time next year.

Euro NCAP announces big changes to safety testing

Car crash test procedures are getting their biggest overhaul in a decade to improve occupant safety and improve post-crash protection.

Car insurance providers told to allow delayed payments

Car insurers have been told to waive fees and allow for delayed payments to help customers in financial difficulty due to the coronavirus.

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

Expert News

All the most important new car launches, model updates, car reviews and industry news

Expert Partners

Our new space for commercial partners to bring you special offers on their products and services

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.