Overall market drops by 12.2% compared with October 2016, with a 29.9% decrease for diesels

October 2017 marked the seventh consecutive month in which the UK car market has declined.

Car registrations dropped by 12.2% compared with the same month last year, with a total of 158,192, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT).

The most notable decline was for diesel models, which dropped 29.9%, continuing a downward trend; in September, traditionally the biggest month for car sales in the UK, diesel registrations dropped 21.7%.

SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said that while declining business and consumer confidence is affecting the new car market, this is being compounded by confusion over government policy on diesels.

Hawes said: “Consumers need urgent reassurance that the latest, low-emissions diesel cars on sale will not face any bans, charges or other restrictions anywhere in the UK. We urge the Government to use the forthcoming Autumn Budget to restore stability to the market, encouraging the purchase of the latest low-emissions vehicles, because fleet renewal is the fastest and most effective way of addressing air quality concerns.”

Demand for electric and hybrid models continued to grow in October, up 36.9% to 8244 registrations compared with last October, while petrol models recorded a slight growth of 2.7%. 

The Ford Fiesta is back at the UK's top-selling spot, having lost out to the Nissan Qashqai in September. Ford sold 7256 Fiestas in October. The Volkswagen Golf came in second place and the Ford Focus in third, while the Qashqai dropped to fourth place with 3923 units sold.

Manufacturers taking the biggest hit in October include Vauxhall, whose registrations dropped 35% compared to the same month last year, while Jaguar was down by 39%, Jeep by 64% and Subaru by 61%.

Only 12 of 41 manufacturers bucked the trend with increased car registrations compared with October 2016. These were Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Honda, Kia, Lotus, Maserati, Mercedes, Porsche, Seat, Ssangyong and Toyota.

Read more: 

Diesel and petrol almost equal in November registration figures

UK car market hits record high in March

UK car sales figures skewed by retailer self-registrations, says insider

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Comments
11

6 November 2017

Few confusing figures but at the end of the day Diesel sales are dropping and EV's and AFL are rising. In the short-medium term I'll be happy when diesel hits 15%, EV's and Hybrids hit 50% and petrol 35%.

Hard to believe diesel was 50% just over a year ago.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

6 November 2017
xxxx wrote:

Few confusing figures but at the end of the day Diesel sales are dropping and EV's and AFL are rising. In the short-medium term I'll be happy when diesel hits 15%, EV's and Hybrids hit 50% and petrol 35%.

Hard to believe diesel was 50% just over a year ago.

I just KNEW opening this article who would be first to have posted a comment! Shut up...

6 November 2017

SMMT need to accept that it is the old emissions testing procedure - which their members gamed and cheated - that has caused the lack of trust and confusion.

 

Euro 6 - compliant cars could be emitting much more pollution than we know. No wonder consumers are nervous.

6 November 2017

This is a loose loose situation, great that emssions are being brought down and manufacturers being held to account. However, as diesel registrations drop and demand for diesels drop, so do residual values. Which will see people either in negative equity or put off changing from their diesel due to its value. Therfore, more and more older dirty diesels on the road. As owners retain them for longer... 

It would have been better to slowly remove diesel vehicals from sale keeping a boyant used and new car market and allow EV and electric to creep in. A  new car diesel duty would have changed the market far quicker and done less damage. Private buyers would have switched to petrol or EV and diesel residuals would have remained stable and damaged market trust far less. What we have here is a mess with no winners, less the government who created the mess past, present and hopefully not the future!

6 November 2017

Like a lot of people youve misunderstood the situation - its OLDER diesel vehicles that are the problem, not the latest ones.

6 November 2017

Lose lose perhaps?

6 November 2017

Reduced car consumption in general can be taken as a way of reducing "global Co2" and no doubt other harmful by-products but that doesn't fit in with "economic progress". There lies the dillema

 

GFR

6 November 2017

As the owner of both a petrol and diesel car, I believe that once again we are having to pay for decisions that were made by the government at the time. Having been encouraged to buy diesel we now see the bottom taken out of the market, the way in which much of the information is desimanted by the press is just to make headlines. Some thing must be done, no one has mentioned that the addional premium on VED on cars that cost over £40k, this has also had an effect. I object to paying the same VED for a car that emits 109g of CO2 as one that emits 225g, just because of the price...£450 per year from years 2-5 is just ridiculous, lets have a fair VED and and far more clarity with regards to information that is made public. 

6 November 2017

It was right for the governmanet/EU to encourage us to buy diesel, where they went wrong is not having stricter emissions regulations for them.

6 November 2017

Isnt it ironic that diesels sales are down because of older diesel's NOx and particulate emissions and the week that its announced is national pollution week (otherwise known as Guy Fawkes night), a week (the whole thing goes on for that long in reality) when the air is thick with choking smoke as millions of extra tonnes of particulates and other harmful chemicals are released into the air, 1000s of times worse than older diesels vehicles emit and yet this is perfectly acceptable ? Its time we banned bonfires and possibly fireworks too. Not doing so, yet banning petrol and diesel vehicles makes a total mockery of our pollution laws.

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