The UK new car market declined by 3.0% in November with 158,639 units registered, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

Reflecting recent trends, demand for petrol and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose 3.5% and 24.6%, to 96,441 and 10,796, but failed to offset a 16.7% fall for diesel cars to 51,429. Battery electric vehicles grew by 69.5%.

Diesel now has a 32.4% share of the market, compared with 60.8% for petrol and 6.8% for AFVs.

The market was down 6.9% on the first 11 months of 2017 to 2,223,058.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes commented: “Model and regulatory changes combined with falling consumer confidence conspired to affect supply and demand in November. The good news is that, as supply constraints ease, and new exciting models come on sale in the months ahead, buyers can look forward to a wide choice of cutting-edge petrol, diesel and electrified cars. It’s now critical that a Brexit deal is secured to boost consumer confidence and provide a stimulus to the new car market as we enter the New Year.”

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK said: “The trend in pure electric and plug-in vehicles sales is encouraging. Consumer appetite is increasing and, as supply improves, we expect electric vehicles’ market share to continue to grow.

“Franchised retailers are fully embracing the latest fuel types as recent joint initiatives between industry and Government demonstrate. Addressing the issues affecting the development of the most modern and efficient forms of transportation and ensuring accurate consumer information are franchised retailers’ priorities in today’s market.

“We look forward to December’s figures which will allow us to understand the full picture of 2018’s new car market.”