Vehicles sales plummet during pandemic… but green vehicles buck the trend

Vehicles sales plummet during pandemic… but green vehicles buck the trend

The move towards greener motoring shows no sign of slowing down according to new Department for Transport research.

The government figures show new registrations of three main green fuel types – Hybrid Electric, Plug-in Hybrid Electric and Battery Electric – more than tripled in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.

By comparison, there were falls of 27% and 60% for petrol and diesel vehicles respectively over the same period.

Petrol vehicles are still the most popular type of vehicle registrations – 269,000 vehicles – and they account for 56% of all new Q2 registrations in Great Britain.

Diesel car registrations have been especially badly hit in recent years. From a 2016 peak of 311,000, registrations fell by 80% to just 62,000 new diesel registrations in Q2 2021. 

Ultra-low emission vehicles ULEVs increased by over 300% during Q2 2021 compared to the same period two years before . They make up just under 12% of all new registrations in Great Britain – 76,000 vehicles. Hybrid electric followed with an increase of more than 200% in Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2019.

During the height of lockdown in April 2020, vehicle registrations fell by 94% compared to April 2019, before rallying with a 1,486% rise in April this year.

A total of 637,000 vehicles were registered for the first time in Great Britain during the second quarter of 2021, 12% lower than during 2019 Q2. At the end of June 2021, there were 39.2 million vehicles on the road in Great Britain.

The Prime Minister announced in November that wholly powered petrol and diesel cars will no longer be sold in the UK from 2030 as part of the ‘green industrial revolution’ to tackle climate change. He says the government plans to “invest more than £2.8 billion in electric vehicles, lacing the land with charging points”.

Efforts have been made to expediate this plan by encouraging all Londoners to get rid of diesel cars as soon as possible now the world’s first 24 hour Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London has been implemented.

Greg Wilson, Founder of, which offers a comparison service for electric car insurance, comments: “Despite lockdown, the move to greener motoring continues to gather pace as drivers race towards the 2030 carbon neutral deadline with electric and other hybrid vehicle sales beginning to soar.

“The rising investment in public and home charging points and the recent panic at the petrol pumps suggest this surge in demand is here to stay.

“As a growing number of insurance providers enter the electric car insurance market, we expect the average cost of insuring electric cars to fall steadily.  The use of a comparison website such as ours can help drivers compare quotes and find the most competitive premiums.” offers bespoke items such as electric car insurance and van insurance.It helps around 3 million users every year find better deals on their insurance, with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different products and is recommended by 97% of reviewers on