The UK new car market has continued to decline for the eighth consecutive month, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Vehicle registrations have decreased by 11.2 per cent year-on-year as a result of a significant fall in diesel demand.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “An eighth month of decline in the new car market is a major concern, with falling business and consumer confidence exacerbated by ongoing anti-diesel messages from government.
“Diesel remains the right choice for many drivers, not least because of its fuel economy and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
“The decision to tax the latest low emission diesels is a step backwards and will only discourage drivers from trading in their older, more polluting cars.
“Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, penalising the latest, cleanest diesels is counterproductive and will have detrimental environmental and economic consequences.”
However, the alternatively fuelled vehicles sector continued to make significant gains, with figures showing a growth of 33.1 per cent and petrol car sales have increased by five per cent.