New auto registrations fall -11.2% in November

The biggest declines were seen in the executive and mini segments, which decreased 22.2% and 19.8% respectively, while demand in the supermini segment contracted by 15.4%.

New auto sales in the first 11 months of 2017 were down by 5% at 2.39m. However, while registrations for petrol cars and Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) rose slightly, sales of diesel cars were down by more than 30%.

The total new auto registrations came in at 163,541, an 11.2%fall on the same period past year.

He also hit out at the Budget measures, saying more needs to be done to encourage people out of diesel vehicles - which were encouraged by previous governments as a cleaner alternative to petrol due to their lower Carbon dioxide emissions.

Britain will increase tax on diesel cars that do not meet more stringent emissions standards, finance minister Philip Hammond said last month.

The fall marks the eight month of falling registrations in 2017.

"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", Mr Hawes said. And these challenges will continue until firmer plans are laid out by the government to enable stability and confidence.

Chris Bosworth, the director of strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said theNovemberslumpin sales also reflected uncertainty over the UK's future outside the European Union, which is making consumers more reluctant to commit to major spending decisions. "It's not uncommon for us to see double digit growth at a good gross margin, despite the challenging new auto conditions".

Pontin concluded, "There is still a great deal of misinformation surrounding the validity of diesel-powered cars in the market and presenting a clear and accurate picture will be an important task for manufacturers going forward". Meanwhile, demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles, which includes electric and hybrid engines, soared 33.1%.

Vanessa Coleman