It is widely known that a big part of the car sales in developed economies correspond to purchases made by companies, rentals and fleets in general. The market is not only about regular people going to the dealers to buy their own car. Businesses also need cars for their activities, and this is what is called business car registrations.

In Europe, more than half of the new passenger car registrations were made by the latter. The companies, dealers, rental agencies, and fleets in general made up 54% of the total registrations in the region during the first quarter, according to information from JATO Dynamics. The information for 17 countries of the region indicates that the percentage has fallen since 2020 mostly because of the pure electric car boom.

BEVs: Half and half

The information indicates that a bit more than half (50.2%) of the BEV registrations during the first quarter of this year were made by businesses. That’s less than the continent’s total average of 54%. It is also under the percentage posted by business in combustion car demand, fuel-cell cars, mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

In other words, the boom of electric cars in Europe has a strong private component. This is very positive for the industry as the margins for the retail sales (those to private individuals) are usually higher than those for business registrations. The final consumers are really responding to the incentives offered by the governments across the region.

Eruope's top selling cars by registration type in Q1 2022 - graphic

It is also positive in the way that the demand is not being driven by artificial sales such as self-registrations, in which many brands sell their cars to the dealers in order to show better sales results at the end of each month. The more private registrations there are, the better it is for the profitability of the brands and the better understanding of the market trends.

Plug-in hybrids, the opposite case

In contrast to the healthy sales mix of the pure electric cars in Europe, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), showed a strong share of business registrations through March 2022. According to the data, 69% of the volume during the first quarter was registered by companies and fleets, leaving only 31% to privates.

Registration type mix new cars in Europe Q1 2022 - graphic

These cars have become a good alternative for many companies around Europe, due to their lower fuel consumption and some tax benefits depending on the country.

The Dacia Spring leads among privates

Although the Tesla Model 3 is the most popular electric car among privates and business, it is the Dacia Spring that has the largest private share on its registrations.

Top 10 best selling electric cars in Europe q1 2022 by registration type - graphic

Private registrations made up 83% of its volume in Q1, which is the same for its bigger brothers, the Sandero and Duster, among the ICE cars. Their private registrations represented 88% and 84% respectively, becoming the best-selling cars among private consumers.

The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is an Automotive Industry Specialist at JATO Dynamics.