New-car sales are down by more than 10% over the year to date, according to the latest official figures, following months of poor consumer confidence.
Just over 100,000 new cars were sold last month – 58,000 fewer than in November 2007 – which represents a 37% drop.
The news comes despite repeated efforts to boost motorists’ belief in the market and to encourage new car sales.
Poor car sales
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: ‘November has been another difficult month for the motor industry and whilst some consumers may have delayed their purchases to take advantage of the recent VAT reductions, overall demand continues to fall.
‘Urgent action is now required to ease access to credit and finance, both to support consumers and meet the cash-flow needs of the industry.’
The 2.5% VAT cut announced in the Chancellor’s pre-budget report is likely to see the average cost of a new car fall by around £250. But the temporary reduction only benefits private buyers, who bought 45% fewer cars last month than in November 2007. Other moves, including changes to the car tax system, may still help to improve car sales.
Although sales of all car types fell last month, weathered the decline better than most. Diesel penetration also rose to a record 47% in November as motorists continued to look for more .
The was the most popular new car in November, just ahead of the , which remains the top seller over the year to date. You can read reviews of these and hundreds of other new and used cars in the .