British car sales sank in October for the seventh successive month on disappointing consumer demand, industry data showed on Monday. New car registrations sank 12.2 percent year-on-year to 158,192 vehicles last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said in a statement.
The SMMT blamed the sharp drop on falling consumer confidence and confusion surrounding the government’s air quality plans. “Declining business and consumer confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand in the new car market but this is being compounded by confusion over government policy on diesel,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.
“Consumers need urgent reassurance that the latest, low-emission diesel cars on sale will not face any bans, charges or other restrictions, anywhere in the UK.” Under a change in UK tax rules that came into effect in April 2017, all new cars except for those with zero carbon dioxide emissions are now subject to an annual flat-rate charge.