New data from the Department for Transport has shown that new registrations of vehicles dropped four percent in the UK last year.
However, new registrations of plug-in vehicles increased by 21 percent, showing a clear appetite for cleaner electric vehicles.
The number of battery electric vehicles registered for the first time reached 267,000, up a staggering 40 percent compared to 2021.
As a result, average CO2 emissions for cars registered decreased by 6.5 percent last year compared to the year before.
Matas Buzelis, car expert at carVertical, commented on the data, saying it was positive to see an increase in cleaner vehicles being sold.
He said: “Although the number of new cars fell year on year, these figures reveal the success story of electric vehicles, with battery-powered models up 40 percent.
“Car ownership is becoming a tale of two cities, with better-off households purchasing expensive electric vehicles, while the less well-to-do turn to second-hand cars.
“Generally, the cars on Britain’s roads keep getting older, as production shortages caused by the pandemic choked off the number of new vehicles being bought.”
The Government will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030, with electric vehicles set to become the dominant fuel type by then.
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At the same time, the Government is aiming to promote active travel methods, including walking and cycling, with it potentially already coming into effect with a drop in registrations.
Mr Buzelis added: “Although UK car manufacturing is up seven percent compared to last year, it will take a long time for those new cars to drive the average age of licensed vehicles back down.
“There is a risk that drivers are putting off servicing their cars to save money during the cost-of-living crisis — increasing the chances that unsound vehicles are being driven on UK roads and being offered for sale.
“Drivers are much more likely to be buying older vehicles which are cheaper to buy because of their higher mileage.”
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Despite this, Mr Buzelis highlighted how these cars are more likely to have suffered wear and tear from their time on the roads.
This will lead to a greater chance of needing to fix expensive repairs down the line and potentially even leading to them failing their MOT.
Experts warn drivers to get a thorough history check of any second-hand vehicles they are considering purchasing, especially if it is not from a reputable dealer or location.
By checking the history of the car, drivers can have peace of mind that it hasn’t been damaged, stolen or tampered with, Mr Buzelis said.
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