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New car sales tumble for the tenth month in a row

New car registrations in January fell 6.3% according to the latest data (5 Feb) from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), marking the tenth consecutive month of decline.

Some 163,615 cars were driven off forecourts, a 6.3% fall compared with the same month in 2017.

Consumer spending on big ticket items including cars looks fragile amid falling business and consumer confidence.

Significantly, new diesel car sales were down 25.6% in January versus the same month last year, against a backdrop of continued anti-diesel rhetoric from the Government.

Simon Benson, head of motoring services at AA Cars, says: ‘This data is the first real temperature test of the overall health of the new car industry in 2018, and it paints a fairly bleak picture. With the market now in its 10th month of decline, motorists are clearly wary about purchasing a new vehicle. In fact, our own research suggests a lack of consumer confidence cost the industry an estimated £2.6bn in 2017 alone.’

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