UK car sales suffers a huge drop in September

a busy london street

That’s the 6th month-to-month drop in a row, and raises the genuine risk that British car registrations publish their first annual decline since 2011.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) blames a drop in consumer confidence, because of “economic and political” unpredictability and confusion over the federal government’s air quality strategies.

UK car registrations

As this charts displays, it’s the first decrease in September sales in six years.

Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO, said that September is always a barometer of the health of the nation’s new vehicle market so this fall in car registrations will cause significant issue. Business and political uncertainty is decreasing buyer confidence, with customers and organizations more likely to delay big ticket purchases.

Hawes also noted the the confusion surrounding air quality strategies, that they haven’t helped, but customers must be reassured that all the new diesel and petrol models on the market will not face any restrictions or added fees. Manufacturers’ scrappage plans are becoming popular and such schemes are to be encouraged given fleet renewal is the ideal way to deal with environmental issues in our towns and cities, Hawes added.

Diesel car sales slumped by more than 20% in September, as British drivers continue to shun them in the wake of recent emission scandals.

Around 170,000 new diesel cars were registered in September, down from nearly 218,000 in September of 2016.

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