2022 new car sales: Scottish upturn bucks UK-wide decline

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Scotland saw an increase in new car sales last year bucking the UK picture, where registrations fell to the lowest level in 30 years.

Fresh figures from the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) confirmed that 140,895 vehicles were registered during 2022, up from 137,120 the year before - a rise of 2.8 per cent. The data for north of the Border, supplied by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), also revealed that the best selling marques were Vauxhall, Ford and Volkswagen, grabbing the top three spots, respectively.

The Scottish breakout figures came as it emerged this week that supply shortages had been blamed for UK car registrations falling to the lowest level since 1992. Some 1.61 million new cars were registered across the UK in 2022, according to the SMMT. That was down 2 per cent compared with the 1.65 million registered during the previous 12 months and a quarter below pre-coronavirus levels.

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The SMMT said the decline was due to manufacturers being unable to meet demand for new cars due to global supply chain issues such as semiconductor shortages, driven by coronavirus lockdowns in China. Battery electric new cars took a market share of 16.6 per cent in 2022, surpassing diesel for the first time to become the second most popular powertrain after petrol. Some 22.9 per cent of all new cars registered were plug-in vehicles, which includes pure electrics and plug-in hybrids.

Meanwhile, the SMTA said 9,250 new car registrations had taken place last month, up 0.5 per cent on December 2021.

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