Motor industry blames government as diesel slump hits vehicle sales again

Sales to fleet owners private owners and smaller businesses all fell last month

United Kingdom sales of new cars fell for an eighth consecutive month in November as economic uncertainty and a sharp fall in demand for diesel cars weighed on demand.

Overall, registrations have declined -5.0% in the 11 months in 2017, with 2,388,144 cars hitting British roads so far this year.

New auto registrations have plunged again after a further collapse in the sale of diesel vehicles that is being widely blamed on the government.

Vauxhall cars are seen for sale at a vehicle show room near Vauxhall's plant in Luton, Britain, March 6, 2017.

Diesel remains the right choice for many drivers, not least because of its fuel economy and lower Carbon dioxide emissions.

Britain will increase tax on diesel cars that do not meet more stringent emissions standards, finance minister Philip Hammond said last month.

"Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, penalising the latest, cleanest diesels is counter-productive and will have detrimental environmental and economic consequences". Alternative fuel registrations, on the other hand, continued to pick up pace in November with 33.1 per cent rise in registrations.

The SMMT said that the decline follows months of confusion and speculation about the Government's air quality plans and its policies towards diesel cars.

It does look like diesel sales are in terminal decline, and with the Chancellor increasing tax on new diesels in the budget that looks set to continue. As we've seen on our marketplace, retailers that ensure their cars are in front of the most buyers, use data to inform their stocking and pricing strategy and offer a customer-centric buying experience are consistently outperforming the market. It is likely that decision-makers were waiting for the Autumn Budget and there is a possibility of some pent-up demand.

It reported 5% growth in petrol while alternatively-fuelled vehicles rose 33.1% to account for 5.4% of the market.

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