London – The UK new car market declined 4.6% year-on-year in May with 183,724 units registered, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
UK new car market continues to fall in May
SMMT linked the decline to continued uncertainty over diesel and clean-air zones as well as the removal of incentives for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
In addition, said a 5 June SMMT statement, underlying economic and political instability is also affecting consumer and business confidence.
Declines were recorded across all sales types of private consumers, fleets and business buyers.
Sales of diesel-powered cars fell for the 26th consecutive month, offset slightly by growth in registrations of petrol and alternatively fuelled vehicles.
Ongoing anti-diesel sentiment and the forthcoming introduction of low-emission zones are continuing to affect buyer confidence, according to the SMMT.
“Confusing policy messages and changes to incentives,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, “affect consumer and business confidence, causing drivers to keep hold of their older, more polluting vehicles for longer.”