New vehicle registrations continue to soar

12.00 | 13 April 2017 |

The number of new ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) registrations reached a new high in 2016, correlating with the overall trend for the total number of new vehicle registrations.

New DfT statistics published today (13 April) show that nearly 42,000 new ULEVs were registered in the UK during 2016, a year-on-year rise of 40%. The figure of 41,819 amounts to 1.3% of all new vehicle registrations – up from 0.9% in 2015 and 0.5% in 2014.

In total, 3.3m vehicles were registered for the first time during 2016, the highest annual total ever recorded. Representing a year-on-year increase of 2.6%, the figure is also 2% higher than the previous peak in 2003, when 3.23m new vehicles were registered.

Looking at vehicle type, the largest year-on-year percentage increase was for vans (light goods) at 4.1%, followed by HGVs at 2.1% and cars at 2%. In comparison, new motorcycle registrations increased by just 1.4%, while bus and coach registrations fell by 0.7%.

Putting the figures into context, at the end of 2016 there were 37.3m vehicles licensed for use on the roads in Great Britain, of which 30.9m were cars.

The DfT says most of the increase in new ULEV registrations can be attributed to the plug-in car and van grants. New registrations in 2016 included 36,782 cars and 1,025 vans that were eligible for these grants, 30% up on 2015.

The DfT also says that the growth in ULEVs is being influenced by new models coming into the market, and more competitive pricing.

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