New car registrations in April 2020 reached the same monthly levels as 1946 as the Coronavirus lockdown period takes its toll on the UK car industry.

Figures from the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) states that only 4,321 cars were registered in April, the lowest monthly level since February 1946 and marked a 97% drop in sales compared to April 2019.

For the entirety of 2020, SMMT predicts that new car registrations will now hit 1.68 million, a huge drop on the 2.3 million registered in 2019.

It is not all bad news, however, as manufacturers begin tackling the problems surrounding how the workforce can return safely, although production will be slow, a spokesperson has said.

The virus hit as the market was already experiencing a decline due to the collapse in demand for diesel vehicles as well and manufacturers struggling to meet the tough new emissions targets.

It is unclear whether the UK will experience a spike in new car sales once the lockdown is eased, with the economic constraints of the virus yet to take its toll. It is likely, however, that manufacturers will do their upmost to entice customers in with the incentive programmes, which includes scrappage schemes.

Alongside the sharp fall in new car registrations is the volume of traffic on UK roads, which is now said to match 1970s levels. The government has suggested that travel in motorised vehicles is 35% to 45% of the usual level.