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The new car market continued its downward trend in November declining by -11.2 % in November to 163,541 units. The market is now year to date -5.0% down on last year, in line with initial forecasts, the latest SMMT’s new car registration figures show.
While alternative fuel vehicles continued to grow significantly, registrations of new diesel cars showed a consistent decline as a consequence of recent media coverage and government’s announcements. Sales of alternative fuel vehicles rose by 33.1%, petrol was up 5.0%, while diesel declined by -30.6%.
The recently announced increase in tax on first registration of all new diesel cars affects the cleanest Euro 6 diesel vehicles, which in many cases still represent the most efficient and affordable vehicle. By failing to increase VED on older diesel cars, government is sending a confusing message to consumers that they should not buy a new diesel, but rather stay in their old cars or buy a second hand, dirtier diesel car.
Positively, the resilience shown by the used car market continues to partially offset the decrease in new car registrations with many consumers considering second-hand cars as the most viable option for them.
The new car market is now expected to continue to perform in line with these results in the last month of the year.