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Diesel decline continues to depress new car sales

John Wood ·
Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Corsa was the best-selling model last month
  (Photo:  )

The UK new car market fell 1.3% in November, with 156,621 models registered, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Sales of petrol and alternatively fuelled cars (AFV) were all up but could not offset a fall of 27.2% in diesel cars, from 50,750 in November last year to 36,941, with market share slipping from 32% to 23.6%. Petrol car sales increased 2% from 95,537 to 97,441, taking a 62.2% market share.

For the second consecutive month, total AFV registrations reached a record market share, with more than one in 10 cars joining UK roads either hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric – equivalent to 16,052 cars.

Demand for the latest battery electric cars surged by 228.8%, with 4,652 registered, while the markets for plug-in hybrids and hybrids also rose by 34.8% and 15.0% respectively.

Year-to-date, the overall UK new car market is down 2.7%, with 2.2 million cars registered.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “These are challenging times for the UK new car market, with another fall in November reflecting the current climate of uncertainty. It’s good news, however, to see registrations of electrified cars surging again, and 2020 will see manufacturers introduce plenty of new, exciting models to give buyers even more choice.

“Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go for these vehicles to become mainstream and, to grow uptake further, we need fiscal incentives, investment in charging infrastructure and a more confident consumer.”

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 January 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East133.4167.40141.10128.52
East Midlands132.93141.67128.44
London133.0565.90142.23128.80
North East131.55139.57126.67
North West132.1066.90140.54127.58
Northern Ireland129.82134.61125.46
Scotland132.65139.08127.50
South East133.80141.93129.03
South West132.9567.90139.13128.12
Wales132.1064.90137.03127.13
West Midlands132.7866.57142.07128.26
Yorkshire & Humber131.9963.90141.14127.34

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