The number of new cars sold in the UK fell for the fifth month in a row during August, with demand for diesel cars plunging by more than a fifth.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced that there were 76,433 new car registrations last month. Which is 6.4% less than August 2016, while diesel sales fell by 21.3%.
A number of car manufacturers, including Ford, Vauxhall, Toyota, Volkswagen and Renault, have recently launched scrappage schemes, where you would trade in your old car for money off a new, cleaner car, which could result in a bump in sales in September.
On the whole, the SMMT said around 1.64 million new cars have been sold so far in 2017, down 2.4% when compared to the previous year.
The New 67 Plate
Mike Hates, SMMT chief executive said: August is typically a quiet month for the new car market as consumers and businesses delay purchases until the arrival of the new number plate in September.
“With the new 67-plate now available and a range of new models in showrooms, we anticipate the continuation of what are historically high levels of demand.”
The number of sales to private buyers was down 9.9% in August compared to last year, while fleet sales dropped 3.2%.
“August’s sharp fall in private registrations shows why dealers have suddenly launched scrappage schemes, ” said Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Microeconomics.
However, he went on to say how he was sceptical to whether the scrappage schemes would have any lasting impact in the long run.
“In theory, these financial incentives could stem the downward trend in sales. But in many cases, the scrappage schemes replace discounts that were available to all buyers, and many owners of old cars might not be able to afford the monthly repayments for a new vehicle.
“Scrappage schemes might turbocharge sales for a few months, but low consumer confidence and deteriorating affordability due to the weak pound suggest that the mid-2010s boom in car sales has run out of mileage.”
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