The fact that UK new car sales are down by 11% this year will come as now suprise to anyone who has watched the news in the last few months. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), new car registrations in November were 37% lower than the same period last year.
Confidence is down, unemployment is rising and the cost of buying a new car is not attractive – for business or private customers.
In some cases, the costs of owning a car at all might not be attractive – a position I completely understand, living in the centre of a town and being able to walk everywhere I need to go on a daily basis.
Could it be that as with van hire, short-term car hire will become a popular alternative to owning and leasing cars?
The success of schemes like Streetcar in London suggests that non-ownership may be part of the future of car usage. Regular car rental companies now offer very competitive daily rates on smaller vehicles – often all you need for one or two people to travel.
On a more positive note, the SMMT speculated that some buyers may simply have deferred their November purchases to take advantage of lower VAT rates and the market share for smaller vehicles increased, as did sales of diesel vehicles, which accounted for 47% of cars sold in November.