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New car sales fall by nearly 20 per cent

Thursday 04 May 2017, By Autovolo

New car sales fall by nearly 20 per cent

New car sales fall by nearly 20 per cent

New car sales have slumped by nearly 20 per cent in April due to higher vehicle excise duty.

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that not only has the total number of new car sales dropped, the number of hybrid vehicle sales also decreased for the first time in four years - by 1.3 per cent. 

Graham Hill, car finance expert at the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, said: “A decline in new car registrations in April was expected after the Chancellor’s surprise move away from encouraging low emission cars, but it wasn’t meant to be this sharp.”

This is also due to hybrids being slapped with higher duty rates, which were introduced on April 1.

It would also appear that the controversy surrounding diesel cars has had a dramatic effect on sales, with figures down by 27.3 per cent compared to April 2016. 

Although new car sales were down for the month however, total sales for the year so far are up 1.1 per cent.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s Chief Executive, said, “With the rush to register new cars and avoid VED tax rises before the end of March, as well as fewer selling days due to the later Easter, April was always going to be much slower. 

“It’s important to note that the market remains at record levels as customers still see many benefits in purchasing a new car. We therefore expect demand to stabilise over the year as the turbulence created by these tax changes decreases.”

The three top selling cars for April were the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai and Mercedes-Benz C Class.