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Northern Ireland Sees 30% Rise in Low Emission Vehicles Despite Lockdown

Figures launched this week by the Department for Transport have reported a 30% jump in new registrations for low emission vehicles from 2019 Q2 to 2020 Q2 – rising from 2,810 to 3,673.  Over just 5 years, the trend has surged by 528%, from Q1 2015 to Q1 2020.

UK vehicle registrations understandably fell by 67% from April to June 2020, compared to the same period last year but by contrast, 19,000 ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) were registered in Q2, an increase of 30% on Q2 2019.

Battery and electric car registrations doubled in the last 12 months – making up 8% of all new UK registrations.  Preliminary Q3 figures predict a surging trend with a dramatic 250% increase in July 2020, as quarantine measures eased.

The pandemic halted the upward trend for alternative fuel cars for the first time since 2011, with a 13% year-on-year decline in new alternative fuel vehicle registrations in Q2. However, 33,000 of these vehicles were still registered in the second quarter, resulting in more new alternative fuel car registered than new diesel cars – the first time that has ever happened.

At the end of June there were 38.4 million licensed vehicles on UK roads – a 0.9% drop compared to the end of June 2019. This is the first consecutive decline in the total number of vehicles on the road since the end of the Second World War and the third drop in 75 years.

317,266 low emission vehicles were registered across the UK in Q2 – 3673 of those were in Northern Ireland with Belfast, Antrim and Newtownabbey top of the regions with 1,291 and 447 registrations respectively.  The lowest numbers were recorded in Derry City and Strabane with 136 and Fermanagh and Omagh with 97.

Responding to the government’s newly published data Greg Wilson, founder of leading car insurance comparison website, CompareNI.com, comments: “Even the worst post-war recessions haven’t inflicted such a devasting impact on the car industry. It’s welcome news that there are positive signs starting to emerge for manufacturers and dealerships.

“It’s interesting to see low emission vehicle sales are beginning to surge, with over 3,500 now registered here in Northern Ireland, the only vehicles to increase this quarter.  Perhaps the dramatic effects of this year are driving people towards a cleaner, greener lifestyle.

“Even the recent changes in working arrangements may have some contributing factors, with a decrease in long daily commutes to the office, perhaps this has made low emission vehicles a viable option for more households, who only now need a car for shorter, social journeys.

“Whatever the reason behind this influx, the statistics suggest low emission vehicles are here to stay.  Our comparison site caters for a wide range of these vehicles so you can review the various additional benefits from each provider and choose the most competitive price or appropriate policy to suit your needs.”  For more information visit https://www.compareni.com/insurance/car.htm