In March, new passenger car registrations declined by -3.4% with 458,054 units registered, according to the latest SMMT’s new passenger car figures.

Year-to-date the market is marginally down -2.4% from last year to 701,036 units. Sales of petrol cars rose 5.1%, diesel sales were down -21.4% and alternative fuel vehicles rose 7.6%. Private demand declined by -2.8%, while fleet remained stable (+0.3%).

Despite the challenges affecting new car sales, retailers are demonstrating their resilience capitalising on the opportunities provided by other business areas including used cars, aftersales and alternative fuel vehicles.

Positively, as appetite for alternative fuel vehicles keeps increasing alongside the availability of more models, this segment of the market will continue to perform well.

The decline in March reflects continued political uncertainty. Whilst there is demand for new cars, consumer decisions are being delayed due to Brexit.

NFDA calls on the government to produce a deal with the EU that protects motor retailing, a crucial industry for the UK economy.