New car registrations: +28.8% in March, battery electric 13.9% market share

In March 2023, the EU car market recorded a significant 28.8% increase in passenger car registrations, surpassing more than a million units (1,087,939). All the bloc’s largest markets saw double-digit growth last month, with Spain (66.1%) and Italy (40.7%) in the lead.

In the first quarter of 2023, the EU car market saw a substantial increase in new car registrations, with almost 2.7 million units sold. This marks a 17.9% increase compared to 2022, following solid results in the first three months. Among the four major EU markets, Spain (+44.5%) saw the highest gains, followed by Italy (+26.2%), France (+15.2%), and Germany (+6.5%).

Fuel types of new cars

March saw significant increases in the market share of hybrid cars to 24.3% and battery electric cars to 13.9%. Despite the shift to more sustainable models, petrol cars still retain the largest market share at 37.5%.

Electric cars

Last month, the EU witnessed a significant increase in new registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which surged by a massive 58% to reach 151,573 units. This is equivalent to a market share of 13.9% and represents a 2.5% increase from March 2022 (11.4%). Double- and triple-digit percentage gains were recorded in most EU member states. Notably, the third-largest market, the Netherlands, saw sales more than double, with a 132.6% increase. As a result, the cumulative number of units registered in the first quarter of 2023 rose by 43.2% to 320,987.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) had another strong month in March, with sales increasing by 38.1% to 264,694 units. This growth was largely due to double-digit increases in the EU’s four key markets, particularly Spain (+75.3%) and Italy (+47.8%). Consequently, HEVs reached a market share of 24.3%, up by 1.6% from March 2022 (22.7%).

After negative growth in the first two months of 2023, the EU market for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) posted a modest 4.3% growth in March following improved sales in three of the four largest markets: Spain (+80.1%), France (+34.5%), and Italy (+23.1%). Conversely, the German market retracted by 38.5%. Despite increases in some key markets, the overall EU PHEV market share is losing ground to other vehicle segments, declining by 1.6% from 8.8% in March 2022 to 7.2% in 2023.

Petrol and diesel cars

In March 2023, new registrations of petrol cars in the EU grew significantly (+29.9%), now representing a market share of 37.5% (up 0.4% from March 2022). This growth was mainly concentrated in four key markets: Spain (+82%), Italy (+45.5%), France (+24.4%), and Germany (+22.8%). As a result, nearly 1 million petrol cars were sold in the first quarter of 2023, representing a 18.6% year-on-year increase. The EU diesel car market also performed better in March compared to 2022 (+11.8%), mainly sustained by three of the bloc’s largest markets: Italy (+38.2%), Spain (+21.1%), and Germany (+7.8%). However, diesel cars only represent 14.5% of the EU market share, down 1.1% from March 2022.

In March 2023, the EU car market recorded a significant 28.8% increase in passenger car registrations, surpassing more than a million units (1,087,939). All the bloc’s largest markets saw double-digit growth last month.


Reproduction of the content of this document is not permitted without the prior written consent of ACEA. Whenever reproduction is permitted, ACEA shall be referred to as source of the information. Quoting or referring to this document is permitted provided ACEA is referred to as the source of the information. 

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group
  • Visit for more information about ACEA, and follow us on or
  • Contact: Francesca Piazza, Senior Statistics Manager,

Interested in ACEA press releases?

Receive them directly in your inbox!

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
back to topback to top