New car sales drop again in October

Written by Ellie

The UK new car market continued to retract in October as the number of new registrations fell by 2.9 per cent, compared to the same month last year.

Some 153,599 new cars were registered throughout October, almost 5,000 less than in October 2017, according to official figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

However, this decrease is much less severe than the 20.5 per cent drop witnessed in September – one of the most important months for the new car market due to the twice-yearly reg plate change.

Diesel sales were down by a fifth in October (21.3 per cent), but this was countered by a 7.1 per cent surge in sales of petrol cars.

This means that for the year so far, new car sales are down by 7.2 per cent, with 2.06 million cars registered, compared to 2.22 million in the first ten months of 2017.

October’s drop was blamed on a widespread supply issue with model changes and backlogs at test houses conducting tough new WLTP emissions certification causing shortages across some brands.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the SMMT, didn’t seem too distressed by the latest monthly decrease.

“VED upheaval, regulatory changes and confusion over diesel have all made their mark on the market this year,” he commented.

The Ford Fiesta was once again the month’s best-selling car, with 5,564 units shifted, taking its yearly total to almost 85,000. Behind it in both the monthly and year to date chart was the Volkswagen Golf, with 3,765 and 55,927 units respectively.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “After such a sustained period of growth, UK car sales had reached a point that the only way was down. Sales for 2018 have passed two million with two months to spare, so this isn’t a massive worry.”

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Posted on 9th November 2018

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