| 22 June 2024, Saturday |

UK new car sales recover in April from last year’s lockdown hit

British new car sales posted a 30-fold increase in April, preliminary data has shown, as dealerships reopened to the public in England and compared to the same time last year when the first national lockdown almost completely wiped out volumes.

In April 2020, sales plummeted by 97% to just 4,321 vehicles, their lowest level of any month since February 1946 as showrooms and factories closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Customers were able last month to purchase cars in person from April 12 in England whilst delivery, click and collect and online services also facilitated purchases. Plants have continued to operate with coronavirus safe measures in place.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Wednesday that sales stood at nearly 141,000 vehicles last month, still down 13% on the 2010-2019 monthly average.

The SMMT will publish its final figure for April at 0800 GMT.

  • Reuters