United Kingdom vehicle sales slump 12% on low consumer confidence

United Kingdom vehicle sales slump 12% on low consumer confidence

Sales of new cars have tumbled for a seventh consecutive month amid a slump in consumer confidence with diesel sales falling by almost a third.

The UK vehicle recession skidded on last month amid continued soft business and consumer confidence.

Overall year-to-date figures saw a decline of -3.5 per cent on 2016, with 307,647 registrations.

As a result of the seemingly terminal decline in diesel auto registrations, the SMMT is calling for the government to reassure buyers that there will be no bans, charges or other restrictions place on the latest diesel cars in the future.

AFV demand continued to rise, up 36.9% to 8,244 registrations, while petrol models enjoyed a more modest growth of 2.7%. "Modern Euro 6 diesel cars can not be compared to older diesel models".

But it also suggested there was confusion over Government policy on diesel, as sales of these types of cars collapsed by 29.9% - and called for action in this month's Budget to help the market.

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Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Cars, comments: "The Government's ongoing crackdown on older "dirty diesel" has had a significant impact on the new auto market, with sales plummeting by nearly 30% in October".

The SMMT also cites a lack of confidence as the main reason for the decline, although we'd have thought the fact that the vehicle industry's push to get us all in to new cars with fancy lease deals has now crested the hill plays a big part too.

This aligns with SMMT's latest forecast for 2017, published last week, with the market expected to end the year on 2.565 million units - a -4.7 per cent decline.

The UK new vehicle market saw another month of decline - and is down year-on-year - on the back of poor diesel sales.

Richard Jones, managing director at Black Horse one of the UK's leading motor finance providers, and part of Lloyds Banking Group, believes the latest data suggests the new vehicle market is moving to a more sustainable position. Whilst I expect we'll see a small level of further softening continue into next year, this is mainly because Q1 2017 was so strong. The latter - which accounts for hybrid and electric vehicles - now accounts for 5.2% of the market overall.

However, these gains were unable to offset heavy losses in the diesel segment, as continuing consumer concerns resulted in its biggest hit yet, with demand down -29.9 per cent.

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