Huge drop in April new car registrations

Only 4321 cars were sold in April 2020 – the UK’s worst year for new car registrations since 1946.

Published: 13th May 2020

Only 4321 cars were sold in April 2020 – a 97.3% drop on the same period last year and the UK’s worst year for new car registrations since 1946.

With the country in lockdown for the entire month due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and only certain key industries allowed to function, dealerships had no option but to close to protect staff and customers.

In spite of this companies were able to provide much needed support to key workers and frontline services, including opening repair shops to maintain vehicles used to transport goods and people, and keep essential services running.

A more detailed look at the figures show that the vast majority of April’s sales were to fleet buyers, with just a minority (871) sold to private individuals.


Earlier this month the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released the figures which make for “grim reading” according to their chief executive Mike Hawes.

With the UK’s showrooms closed for the whole of April, the market’s worst performance in living memory is hardly surprising.

The impact will be felt harshly by the large number of people employed in the sector and has created concern about job security once the lockdown is lifted.

Petrol cars still held the top spot with 1553 registrations. Fully electric cars took second place (1,374) with diesel coming in third with 1079.

Topping the bestsellers list was the Tesla Model 3, with 658 registrations. The all electric Jaguar I-Pace came in second with 367. Electric and hybrid vehicles made up over a third of April’s vehicle registrations.

The SMMT have forecast 1.68 million vehicles will be registered this year, a severe drop compared to the 2.3 million registered in 2019.

Published: 13th May 2020
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