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Press release

UK car market begins to see supply issues ease

The UK car market has begun to see ongoing supply issues ease following more than a 25% increase in new vehicle registrations in October

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4 November 2022

The UK car market has begun to see ongoing supply issues ease following more than a 25% increase in new vehicle registrations in October, according to The Car Expert.

After several years of tumultuous October sales due to Brexit concerns in 2019, semiconductor shortages in 2020 and knock-on effects of covid in 2021, the latest SMMT data shows that private new car registrations were up by a meagre 7% while fleet registrations increased by 47%.

The better than anticipated fleet sales increase indicates that supply issues might be improving because manufacturers usually priorities the more profitable retail market.

October also saw a continued trend in consumers opting for smaller and cheaper options with Ford Fiesta as the best-selling model alongside MINI, Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 500. Value brands such as MG saw sales double year-on-year, while the British-built Nissan Qashqai overtook the Vauxhall Corsa as the best-selling vehicle this year with 33,562 sales to date.

Despite several months of rapid electric vehicle growth at the beginning of the year, battery electric vehicle (BEV) growth has begun to plateau. The market share for BEVs dipped below September’s result, potentially owing to the high prices of EVs in a time of ongoing tightening of household budgets.

“While many would like to make the switch to electric vehicles, the average purchase price of an EV still remains incredibly high. A large proportion of consumers would likely look to purchase an EV through finance options, such as a PCP, however this is a very significant monthly expense at a time of serious financial uncertainty, exacerbated by yet another hike in interest rates,” commented Stuart Masson, Editorial Director at The Car Expert.

“Motorists may fear that their electricity bills will shoot up even more when charging at home, but it continues to remain more cost-effective than filling up with petrol or diesel.”

Supply across many brands have improved, with the likes of Ford, CUPRA, Fiat, Skoda and Toyota all increasing October year-on-year sales by more than half. Fleet registrations benefited from a 47% rise following a significant decline in recent months due to a shortage of supply and manufacturers prioritising private sales.

“The easing of supply issues across manufacturers should start to have a positive impact on used prices as we head into 2023. Although used car prices will remain high for the foreseeable future, if the supply of new cars continues to improve, by spring we may start to see prices in the used market slacken.”

“Although there are positive signs to be gleaned from October’s result, we cannot expect there to be an immediate effect. We urge consumers to think carefully before entering expensive finance contracts, particularly with ongoing pressures on cost-of-living and hikes in interest rates.”

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


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 12,000 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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