12 July 2017 - Janet Bird
The number of new cars sold has fallen for the third month running.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released data showing the new car market was 4.8 percent down in June compared to the same month a year ago.
However, the decline follows a record first quarter for new car sales and the SMMT said that, while demand for new cars was starting to cool after five years of consecutive growth, last month's dip simply showed the market stabilising and returning to 2017 forecast levels. They stressed there was, therefore, no cause for alarm.
A total of 1.4 million cars has been sold this year to date, a fall of 1.3 percent compared to the same period in 2016. The sharpest decline has been in the diesel car market, which saw a 9.9 percent reduction year on year, while petrol car sales were up 5.2 percent over the period and alternatively fuelled vehicle sales rose 27.5 percent.
The SMMT said sales were still strong and the rise in demand for alternatively fuelled cars was encouraging, but stressed more long term incentives were needed if this new generation of vehicles was to be a common sight on Britain's roads.