April car and van sales plummet
UK new car sales fell by -19.8% to 152,076 units in April according to the SMMT. The long-predicted tumble comes after highest month of new car sales on record in March, when new car sales grew by 8.4%, ahead of the new VED regime, which was introduced at the start of April.
Fleet buyers charted the lowest proportional fall of any segment at 12.3%. Private and businesses purchases fell by 28.4% and 21.0% respectively. New van sales were also down in April. They fell by 18.8%.
“With the rush to register new cars and avoid VED tax rises before the end of March, as well as fewer selling days due to the later Easter, April was always going to be much slower,” said SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, “it’s important to note that the market remains at record levels as customers still see many benefits in purchasing a new car. We therefore expect demand to stabilise over the year as the turbulence created by these tax changes decreases.”
Business mileage tool launched for self-employed drivers
Driver membership service Smartdriverclub launched a product for self-employed drivers who need to keep track of their business mileage. Known as Business Miles, the plug-in device is fitted behind the steering column and, among other features, allows drivers to record journeys as business or personal and load them directly into an expenses claim. Subscriptions cost £7.99 per month.
“When you’re self-employed, as I have been at various stages in my life, jobs like recording business miles tend to get left to evenings and weekends, or put aside completely until tax return time when guesstimates often replace accuracy,” said Penny Searles, CEO of Smartdriverclub, “with motoring costs escalating, it’s crucial self-employed workers accurately record their business mileage and claim what is rightly due to them.”
Ssangyong updates Korando SUV
Ssangyong has updated its Korando SUV. The styling has been revised to bring it into line with more recent models such as the Tivoli and the Rexton, including new fog lights, lower valance, bonnet and LED daytime running lamps.
Standard equipment includes electric heated door mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, tinted glass and roof rails. The ELX trim level adds front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, and seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, TomTom satnav, 18-inch alloys, leather seats, heated steering wheel and heated front & rear seats. Power comes from a 178hp 2.2-litre diesel engine with a two-tonne towing capacity.
On sale now, prices start at £17,000 for the front-wheel drive SE model. Three other variants are also available: SE 4×4 at £18,500, ELX 4×4 at £22,000; and ELX with an automatic transmission from £23,500.