New car sales decline 9pc as diesels fall out of favour – Telegraph.co.uk

The new car market has declined for a sixth consecutive month, with an especially sharp drop in diesel sales, industry figures have shown. 

Just over 426,000 new cars were registered in September, down 9.3pc on the same month last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In the year to date, car registrations have slipped 3.9pc compared to a year ago, with 2.07m registrations so far in 2017.

“September is always a barometer of the health of the UK new car market so this decline will cause considerable concern,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.  

The organisation claimed economic and political concerns, combined with uncertainty about the Government’s air quality plans, had put consumers off purchases. 

Registration levels, used as a proxy by which to measure new car sales, followed a Government announcement of plans to ban the sale of all conventional diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to meet European Union limits on harmful nitrogen dioxide pollution.

Whitehall is also considering measures to cut pollution with a tax on new diesel vehicles.

Demand for diesel cars fell steeply, down 21.7pc in September and 13.7pc for the year so far compared to a 1.2pc fall in petrol vehicles. Sales of alternatively fuelled cars jumped 41pc to 22,600, giving them a 5.3pc share of the market.

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