The UK new car market fell by -20.5% in September, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 338,834 vehicles were registered in the month, down around 87,000 on the previous year.
The impact was felt across the board, with registrations by private consumers, fleets and businesses all declining, by -20.1%, -22.4% and -6.3% respectively.
Registrations of petrol and diesel cars also fell with demand for diesel cars down 42.5% on the same period last year, now representing 29% of market share.
Petrol cars experienced a more modest decline, down 6.7% on the same period last year, holding 64% of market share, while demand for hybrids and plug-in electrics increased by 3.9% year-on-year representing 6.9% of the market.
Declines were seen across almost every vehicle segment, with MPVs and Specialist Sports cars showing the biggest falls, down -54.8 and -50.9%. Luxury saloons were the only segment to register growth, up +3.5%, while Dual Purpose cars, which have enjoyed strong growth over the year to date, held steadier than most, falling just -3.5% in the month.
The SMMT cites consumer confidence, supply bottlenecks, confusion over diesel policy, VED changes and transition to the new WLTP emissions standards as all being contributing factors towards the September slump.