The UK experienced the fastest rate of decline in the European new car market in the first quarter of 2018.
Figures provided by industry analysis company JATO show that Britain’s new car sales totalled 718,489, equating to a 12.4% fall on the first quarter of last year. The UK ranked bottom, below Norway and Ireland, which saw year-on-year sales decreases of 11.3% and 5.3% respectively.
The UK drop heavily contrasts with the 0.7% increase in demand experienced by the wider European region. Growth was driven by rapid increases in demand for cars within countries such as Spain, Hungary and the Netherlands, which saw sales surge by a respective 11.9%, 29.9% and 13.9%.
European demand was actually down in the month of March by 5.2%, but January and February demand proved so strong that it ensured an overall gain in the quarter compared with the first three months of 2017.