United Kingdom auto sales slump 12% on low consumer confidence

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The number of new cars registered declined 12 per cent last month

AFV demand continued to rise, up 36.9% to 8,244 registrations, while petrol models enjoyed a more modest growth of 2.7%.

Demand from businesses and fleet orders dropped 26.8% and 13% respectively last month.

"With the widespread uncertainty and general confusion surrounding diesels and the potential for charges and restrictions in London and other major cities, a distinct lack of buyer confidence is the primary reason for this dramatic drop".

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

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As a result of the seemingly terminal decline in diesel vehicle registrations, the SMMT is calling for the government to reassure buyers that there will be no bans, charges or other restrictions place on the latest diesel cars in the future.

The SMMT urged the government to use this month's autumn budget to restore stability to the market and encourage the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles.

Demand in new cars crashed by -12.2 per cent over the month as motorist's confidence in new cars declined as the vilification of diesel cars continues.

Year to date registrations decrease -4.6%. 24,968 new LCVs joined British roads in October, a -7.4 per cent fall compared with the same month past year. This aligns with SMMT's latest forecast for 2017, with the market expected to end the year on 2.565 million units - a 4.7% decline.

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In what was the seventh consecutive month of falling registrations, 158,192 new cars hit the road.

Overall, fewer new cars are being registered.

Vehicle sales are also likely to be hampered by mounting pressure to restrict auto finance deals and unsecured consumer credit, Archer said, with the Bank of England having shown mounting concern and called for a more responsible approach, particularly due to concerns over the resale value of cars at the end of Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals. We must also remember Brexit has already had an impact on the United Kingdom vehicle market through the fundamental shift in the exchange rate which is impacting auto prices, making the market correction even more understandable.

"It's also worth noting that although we see a continued fall in demand for diesel, this remains an appropriate fuel choice for many drivers". The latter - which accounts for hybrid and electric vehicles - now accounts for 5.2% of the market overall.

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