New car registrations fell to their lowest levels in September for more than two decades, according to figures from the industry’s trade body.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported a 35% drop in new registrations compared to the same period in September 2020.
A global shortage of computer chips has been blamed for falling car production.
However, sales of electric vehicles are rapidly increasing, according to the SMMT.
While the car market as a whole has suffered as a result of the pandemic, more than 32,000 electric cars were registered in September, nearly as many as were registered in 2019 – 37,850 electric cars.
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Meanwhile, just 214,000 cars were sold in September – the lowest total for the month since the current registration system for Great Britain was introduced 23 years ago.
Whole-year figures for 2020 saw new car registrations fall to their lowest level in nearly three decades due to falling production.
In 2020, approximately 1.63 million new cars were registered, compared to 2.3 million in 2019, a 29 percent decrease.
According to the SMMT, it was also the largest one-year drop since World War II, when factories were converted to military production.
Due to a lack of new models, used car sales in the UK have more than doubled in recent months.
According to the trade body, the used car market grew 108.6 percent year on year in the second quarter, with more than 2.2 million vehicles changing hands.
Increased demand resulted in an increase in sales of older used cars, with only 12.7 percent of all vehicles sold being manufactured within the last three years, the lowest level on record.
In August, SMMT boss Mike Hawes said that due to a shortage of new cars, many consumers had turned to the used market at a time of “increased need for personal mobility, with people remaining wary of public transport as they return to work.”
When production lines were forced to halt due to lockdowns, microchip manufacturers diverted chips that would normally go into new cars to the consumer electronics market, and supply has yet to fully recover.