Diesel registrations fall by 30% in October

Lucy Hill
November 7, 2017

The industry body said auto registrations dropped 12.2% year-on-year to 158,192 last month - the second double-digit decline this year. 24,968 new LCVs joined British roads in October, a -7.4 per cent fall compared with the same month past year.

Falling consumer confidence largely caused by uncertainty surrounding the future of diesel has been blamed for the recent fall in registrations.

Year to date registrations decrease -4.6%.

Hawes said: "Consumers need urgent reassurance that the latest, low emission diesel cars on sale will not face any bans, charges or other restrictions, anywhere in the United Kingdom".

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles are up nearly 37 per cent since October 2016, wth petrol cars increasing by a smaller 2.7 per cent. "Modern Euro 6 diesel cars can not be compared to older diesel models". Dealers also reported -10.1% fewer private buyers took delivery of new cars in October.

The SMMT is now predicting full-year sales of cars will fall 4.7 per cent to 2.57m units this year, having revised down its forecast last week.

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Overall new vehicle registrations declined to 158,192, a fall of 12.2 per cent compared to the same time previous year, and sales of diesel engined auto fell even more dramatically - by a whopping 29.9 per cent.

SMMT has urged government to provide "reassurance" to consumers and industry that new diesel cars will not face bans or restrictions.

The key to pickup in the industry says Hawes is for the Government to use its forthcoming Autumn Budget to restore stability to the market and to encourage the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles as fleet renewal is the fastest and most effective way of addressing air quality concerns.

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

"Looking beyond that the uncertainties still facing the UK economy make it hard to make a robust forecast for 2018 as a whole, however the determinants such as UK GDP and employment levels remain robust". The latter - which accounts for hybrid and electric vehicles - now accounts for 5.2% of the market overall.

In particular, the data indicates that diesel vehicle sales have seen a significant drop when compared to the same period in 2017, with registrations having fallen by almost a third (29.9%).

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