New car sales drop slightly in November - but the fall is not as bad as had been feared

New car registrations dropped 4.2 per cent year-on-year in the UK last month – but the drop was not as bad as had been feared. A total of 134,027 units were registered in November, some 5000 more units that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) had forecast.

Total registrations in the UK in 2011 now stand at 1,822,065 units, some 4.5 per cent less than the first 11 months of 2010. The better-than-expected November registrations has led the SMMT to believe that its total registrations prediction of 1.923 million units will be beaten.

November was notable for seeing the highest ever market share for diesel cars (55.6 per cent) and alternatively fueled models (1.6 per cent), while the average mpg for new cars also hit an all-time high at 52,5mpg. The figure is the 29.3 per cent improvement in the past 10 years.

The SMMT notes that the new car market is being propped up by customer incentives and demand from the fleet market and the stability of the market in recent months were at odds with the rest of the economy.

The best-selling car in the UK in November was the Ford Fiesta. The supermini is also the best-selling car in the UK this year.

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