UK's new car registrations drop 22.2 per cent, the greatest monthly decline since May 2009

New car registrations for the UK in October dropped 22.2 per cent year on year, the sharpest monthly decline since May 2009.

But according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the 131,495 units registered in October will help contribute to ensuring 2010’s total registrations are greater than those in 2009.

New car registrations are now expected to total 2.026 million units in 2010, a 1.5 per cent rise on 2009, better than previous forecasts. Last month’s registrations were on a par with October 2009, if scrappage registrations are discounted.

Read more on September's new car sales, which were also down on 2009

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt warned that the coming months would be “challenging” for the industry, but expected steady growth throughout 2011.

“The industry expects the coming months to be challenging with slow, but steady, economic growth feeding through to improved confidence and demand during 2011,” he said.

October marked the best ever market share for diesel-powered cars over petrol models with a figure of 54.7 per cent. The UK’s best-selling car in October was the Ford Fiesta, ahead of the VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra.

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

Join the debate


4 November 2010

Not at all surprising news this - not seen the abundance of new plate cars that I have previously - can only think of a handful of 60 plate cars around my local roads..

To live is to drive

4 November 2010

I would have thought a lot of people have stopped ordering new cars by now: With certain manufacturers there is little chance of getting them before the VAT increase. I know you can ask the dealer to raise a VAT invoice before then, even if you havent got the car, but I wonder how many will want to do this.

4 November 2010

There's no point buying it if you can't afford to run it.

With fuel averaging 120p a litre perhaps we need to boycott buying new cars until fuel tax is reduced to a reasonable level?

4 November 2010

[quote shawks]There's no point buying it if you can't afford to run it.[/quote] There's very little need for a lot of what we spend our money on. With lots of reasons and arguments for why we do what we do. If you are lucky you are happy most of the time. If it's a new car each year or working on a banger that brings a smile to your face so be it.

4 November 2010

These numbers are in line with the slump throughout most of Europe so this is becoming the killer sector for most manufacturers.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales