The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports 68,033 new car registrations in the UK for the month of August. That's 22% less than a year ago and the weakest result since August 2013.

According to Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, one of the key problems in the market right now is the global shortage of semiconductors:

“While August is normally one of the quietest months for UK new car registrations these figures are still disappointing, albeit not wholly surprising. The global shortage of semiconductors has affected UK, and indeed global, car production volumes so new car registrations will inevitably be undermined. Government can help by continuing the supportive Covid measures in place currently, especially the furlough scheme which has proven invaluable to so many businesses.

“As we enter the important September plate-change month with an ever-increasing range of electrified models and attractive deals, buyers in the market for the new 71 plate can be reassured manufacturers are doing all they can to ensure prompt deliveries.”

The plug-in electric car segment continues to expand. In August, 12,437 new plug-ins (up 46% year-over-year) translated into a market share of 18.3%.

Plug-in electric car registrations in the UK – August 2021

  • BEVs: 7,388 (up 32% year-over-year) at market share of 10.9%
  • PHEVs: 5,049 (up 72% year-over-year) at market share of 7.4%
  • Total: 12,437 (up 46% year-over-year) at market share of 18.3%

So far this year, more than 165,000 new passenger plug-in cars were registered in the UK, reaching an average market share of 15%.

Sales YTD:

  • BEVs: 92,420 (up 107% year-over-year) - market share of 8.4%
  • PHEVs: 73,156 (up 144% year-over-year)- market share of 6.6%
  • Total: 165,576 (up 122% year-over-year) - market share of 15.0%

More details, including also other types:


Top models

In August once again, no stand-alone plug-in model made it to the top 10. Unfortunately, the SMMT does not provide ranking for plug-ins.

One thing that we know is that the Kia Niro EV (e-Niro) was the second most popular all-electric car last month, with 513 units (7,124 YTD).

The Vauxhall Corsa-e (in the rest of Europe known as Opel Corsa-e) continues to be the #1 small all-electric car in the UK, while the Vauxhall Corsa is the best-selling car year-to-date overall.

Vauxhall reports also 1,623 electric Light Commercial Vehicle (e-LCV) sales (Vauxhall Vivaro-e), which is the highest result in the segment.

Only time will tell what will be the position of the recently delivered Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Tesla Model Y.