Latest statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show a continuing decline in new car sales, with October car registrations down 12% year-on-year, marking the seventh consecutive monthly decline. The year-to-date figure shows a 4.6% decline.
Alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) saw a respectable increase with new registrations up by almost 37% on the same period last year. Demand for new diesel vehicles has dropped by almost 30%, whilst petrol car registrations are up by a modest 2.7% year-on-year.
Although we are seeing a sharp increase in the demand for AFVs, they are still only representing a small proportion of the market with a 5.2% market share, up from 3.3% during the same period last year.
Petrol and diesel vehicles continue to dominate the market, representing 55% and 40% of market share, respectively.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, attributes the decline to failing confidence and confusion:
“Declining business and consumer confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand in the new car market, but this is being compounded by confusion over government policy on diesel.
“Consumers need urgent reassurance that the latest, low emission diesel cars on sale will not face any bans, charges or other restrictions, anywhere in the UK.
“We urge the Government to use the forthcoming Autumn Budget to restore stability to the market, encouraging the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles as fleet renewal is the fastest and most effective way of addressing air quality concerns.”