Britain's new car market tumbled by 7.3% year-on-year in January, figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal.
A total of 149,279 vehicles were registered across the month, down by just under 12,000 from the same month last year. Diesel car sales again declined substantially, and has a market share of below 20% for the first time in twenty years. Petrol car registrations also dropped by 9.5%, however.
The SMMT blames "continued confusion surround diesel and clean air zones and ongoing weak consumer and business confidence" for the fall. Private sales were hit the hardest - down 13.9% - with fleet registrations taking a less substantial 2.2% hit.
There is some good news, however: alternatively-fuelled cars continued their steady but significant rise throughout 2019, capturing a record 11.9% of the market.