Title: Vehicle Licensing Statistics: Quarter 1 (Jan - Mar) 2018

Organisation: Department for Transport
Date uploaded: 4th July 2018
Date published/launched: June 2018

During January to March 2018, 854,000 vehicles were registered for the first time in Great Britain.

This was the first decrease in the number of new registrations during the first quarter (Q1) since the 2008/2009 recession. It was 10.9% lower than during 2017 Q1, but still 49.8% higher than during 2009 Q1.

Looking at 12-month rolling totals, there have been fewer vehicles registered for the first time each month from the year ending April 2017 onwards.

This trend might be due, in part, to the change in the amount of Vehicle Excise Duty due for newly registered cars, which came into force on 1st April 2017. This change generally made both the first year and subsequent years of tax more expensive for low emission, non-electric cars.

There was a sharp decline in the number of diesel cars being registered for the first time in 2018 Q1, down 33.3% compared to 2017 Q1, with 235,000 registered down from 353,000. This was the main contributor to the decline in overall vehicle registrations and the fourth quarter in a row where an annual decrease of over 20% has been observed.

Diesel cars accounted for 44% of all new car registrations in 2017 Q1, which has dropped to just 33% in 2018 Q1.

In 2018 Q1, 15,388 ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) were registered for the first time in the United Kingdom, up 11% on 2017 Q1 and 30% on 2016 Q1. ULEVs accounted for 1.8% of all new vehicle registrations - up from 1.4% one year previously and 1.3% two years previously.

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