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United Kingdom vehicle sales in October down for seventh consecutive month

07 November, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Diesel registrations drop by a third in October

Elsewhere, BMW's 4 Series has shot into the top ten for the very first time this year, while Mercedes continues to make its presence felt thanks to the A-Class, while the C-Class retains its position of number eight in the year-to-date.

Industry figures have revealed that just over 158,000 motors were registered UK-wide during October, down 12.2 per cent on the same month past year.

The industry body said vehicle registrations dropped 12.2% year-on-year to 158,192 last month - the second double-digit decline this year.

Declines were seen across all sectors, with business and fleet demand down -26.8 per cent and -13.0 per cent respectively.

People are buying fewer diesel cars as petrol and alternative fuel cars grow in popularity, according to new industry figures.

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles are up nearly 37 per cent since October 2016, wth petrol cars increasing by a smaller 2.7 per cent.

However, despite coming under some pressure, the SMMT data suggests that petrol and diesel cars still dominate the market for new vehicles, with a total of 946,537 diesel and 1,175,697 petrol cars registered for sale in the United Kingdom, and 102,369 alternatively fuelled vehicles throughout 2017.

The slump in the diesel market was so severe it could not be offset by a 2.7 per cent rise in demand for petrol cars and a 36.9 per cent jump in sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, such as electric cars and hybrids, to 8,244 registrations.


Hawes called for consumers to be given reassurance that the latest, low-emission diesel cars on sale will not face any bans or charges 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".

Alex Buttle, from vehicle buying comparison website Motorway.co.uk, said: "Diesel's market share is plummeting and consumers aren't listening to rhetoric about cleaner diesel models, however much the industry drums on about it".

"Following the recent revision to the new van forecast, this month's decline is not unexpected", said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

He said: "Diesel's market share is plummeting and consumers aren't listening to rhetoric about cleaner diesel models, however much the industry drums on about it".

"In the longer term this correction in sales is positive for the market, and should reduce concerns of new auto oversupply impacting negatively on used-car values".

Ministers are also considering funding measures to cut pollution with a tax on new diesel vehicles.

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