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Supply improvements spark huge fleet sales uplift and hint at better deals for car buyers

Supply issues are easing after new car registrations grew by nearly a quarter in November, according to The Car Expert

More releases from The Car Expert

5 December 2022

  • November new cars sales data reveals positive results for fleet and private buyers, rising by over 45% and nearly 3% respectively
  • Data suggests that the industry is closer to meeting demand for new cars, however, most of the growth came from a small cluster of manufacturers
  • Electric cars represented 1 in 5 sales in November – one of the strongest months for EVs on record
  • British-built Nissan Qashqai on course to top the sales charts in 2022
  • Consumers still opting for smaller, cheaper and greener options as the cost of living increases may be steering vehicle choices
  • Improving supply should result in reduced waiting times, better new car deals and eventually lower used prices in 2023

Supply issues are easing after new car registrations grew by nearly a quarter (23.5%) in November, with fleet and private registrations rising by 45% and 3% respectively, according to The Car Expert.

The results indicate that the industry is better able to meet demand for new cars after a torrid three-year period during which Brexit concerns, semiconductor shortages and the knock-on effects of Covid stifled vehicle production globally.

While the increase compared to last November is significant, most of the growth – around 23,000 of the 27,000 increase – came from the Volkswagen Group (VW, Audi, Skoda), Ford, Nissan and Tesla, meaning that across the board there were more losers than winners among the car brands.

The data released by the SMMT also shows that electric vehicle sales remain buoyant, with one in five sales attributed to fully electric powertrains – among the best months on record for EVs and over 35% higher than November 2021.

The British-bult Nissan Qashqai topped the sales charts once again, securing top spot in November ahead of the Tesla Model Y. The compact SUV is all but certain to be the UK’s best-selling car of 2022 with a healthy lead over the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Puma.

Consumers are continuing to opt for smaller, greener and cheaper cars as superminis like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and MINI dominate the sales charts in November alongside other compact vehicles like the Volkswagen T-Roc.   

While the year-to-date figure is still down by 3% compared to 2021, the final quarter of 2022 is showing signs of a return to normality, which is expected to result in shorter delivery times, better new car deals and lower used car prices.

Stuart Masson, Editorial Director at The Car Expert, said: “After years of production issues, private buyers and fleets are now often able to get their hands on the cars they want. Waiting times should start to ease, and we may even see better deals available – we wouldn’t say it is a buyer’s market just yet, but it is moving in the right direction.

“However, if we scratch beneath the surface of the results, the increase this month is dominated by a handful of brands, so it is very much a mixed bag with some manufacturers producing – and selling – a lot of cars while others continue to struggle.

“The position is improving but if you are not in a rush to buy or your finance deal has a few months to run, the new year may be a better time to buy. With supply and demand of new cars now more in sync, this may also have an impact on the used market where we should see prices start to decrease in the first or second quarter of 2023.

“November also saw a huge result for electric vehicle sales. Some commentators were speculating that demand for EVs could be tailing off, but with a fifth of sales attributed to electric cars, last month showed that the public are still embracing battery-powered vehicles.”

For expert and impartial advice relating to car finance or tips for purchasing a used vehicle, please visit: www.thecarexpert.co.uk/

ENDS

The Car Expert

Founded in 2011, The Car Expert is the UK’s most comprehensive automotive consumer advice site. With an audience of over two million readers a year, The Car Expert provides independent and impartial advice on every aspect of buying, financing, owning, and selling new or used vehicles.

The Rotten Tomatoes equivalent for the automotive world, The Car Expert consolidates reviews from 30 of the UK’s top automotive websites to create the Expert Rating Index. Bringing together science and data analysis, the index calculates a weighted average to give an aggregated score – Expert Rating – that is comparable across different brands and models.

The Expert Rating Index factors in the age of each review, so that newer reviews carry more weight than older reviews. It also breaks down the complex web of different scoring systems that various websites use in their reviews.

The Car Expert has logged over 14,000 reviews covering more than 400 cars and over 50 manufacturers, with its Expert Rating Index now trusted as the gold standard for rating and ranking new cars in the UK.

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