October’s small decline in new car sales shows that WLTP continues to distort the market and constrain the supply of new vehicles to the UK. New passenger car registrations declined by -2.9% in October with 153,599 units registered. Year to date, the market is -7.2% down from last year with 2,064,419 new cars registered. Sales of petrol cars rose by 7.1%, diesel was down -21.3% and alternative fuel vehicles grew by 30.7%.

NFDA is encouraged by the strong sales of used vehicles and the continuously increasing market share of AFVs, whose sales were up 30.7% in October. It is vital that this key segment of the market continues to be supported by the Government.

Despite short-term challenges, consumer footfall remains strong. Retailers are working hard to inform UK motorists about the new generation, WLTP compliant diesel and petrol cars as well as electric and plug-in hybrids, where consumers’ confidence still needs to be supported.

As stock supply improves, we expect the market to perform better going forward and, in particular, in the first quarter of 2019.

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