In April, new passenger car registrations declined by -4.1% with 161,064 units registered, according to the latest figures from the SMMT. Year-to-date the market is down -2.7% from last year with a total of 862,100 units. Sales of petrol cars declined -3.0%, diesel was down -9.4% and alternative fuel vehicles rose 6.4%. Private demand declined by -10.3%, while fleet rose 2.9%.

The new car market declined affected by Easter falling in April this year, which, alongside the warm weather, caused a slowdown in physical footfall to dealerships.

Positively, there continues to be solid demand at franchised dealerships for used and nearly new cars, which provide excellent opportunities for all types of motorists.

The aftersales segment also remains strong and recent evidence showed very high levels of consumer satisfaction with the service provided by franchised retailers, especially for alternative fuel vehicles. We expect franchised retailers to increasingly benefit from the growing popularity of this segment.

The uncertainty surrounding Government’s decisions on Brexit continues to affect consumer behaviour in the new car market. It is vital that clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU is provided as soon as possible.