New car sales grow for the first time in 2020

New cars parked

Did lockdown get you dreaming of a brand-new motor? Apparently, you’re not alone.

New car registrations grew by 11.3% in July compared to the same month last year.

The rapid growth occurred as car dealers threw their doors open across the UK.

Car showrooms reopened on 1st June 2020 in England, 8th June in Northern Ireland, 22nd June in Wales and 29th June in Scotland after being closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pent-up demand

New data from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows pent-up demand helped drive new car registrations to 174,887 in July.

Private sales were up by 20.4% on July 2019, helped by an influx of new finance incentives. Indeed, eight of the 10 top brands are now offering flexible initiatives, including offset payments to help new buyers on their way.

Other areas though showed less growth, with fleet car sales only up by 5.2%, while business car sales actually fell by 11.8% compared with last year’s figures.

Year-to-date registrations are still down almost 42% compared with 2019.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive at SMMT, said the figures are a positive sign for the motoring industry.

He said: “July’s figures are positive, with a boost from demand pent up from earlier in the year and some attractive offers meaning there are some very good deals to be had.

“We must be cautious, however, as showrooms have only just fully reopened nationwide and there is still much uncertainty about the future.”

June’s best-selling motors

Looking to upgrade your wheels? These were the most popular purchases for new car buyers in June:

  1. Vauxhall Corsa
  2. Ford Fiesta
  3. Ford Focus
  4. Volkswagen Golf
  5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  6. Nissan Qashqai
  7. Volkswagen Polo
  8. Mini
  9. Volkswagen Tiguan
  10. Ford Kuga

Would you buy a new car without seeing it first? According to research, the majority of us still want to test-drive before we buy.