New car sales are down 8.8% over the year to date, official figures show, following months of poor consumer confidence.
Industry bodies now want the government to scrap plans for in an attempt to encourage buyers back into showrooms.
Just over 128,000 new cars were registered in October – 23% fewer than in the same period last year. This follows a 21.2% drop in car sales in September.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: ‘October has proved another difficult month for the UK motor industry and action is needed to help restore consumer confidence and encourage buyers back to the showrooms.
‘Cuts in interest rates that are swiftly passed on to consumers, scrapping planned increases in vehicle excise duty [car tax] and maintaining public expenditure on new vehicles are essential parts of the package required by industry.’
Everitt also said European action is required to support investment in green car technologies.
Despite a drop in overall in October, the diesel sector increased its market share to a record high of 45.6%. It’s thought the economic crisis has made fuel economy a top priority for drivers.
This is backed up by the fact the segment – which includes efficient cars such as the – also increased its market share in October.
The was October’s best-selling model, while the remains 2008’s top-selling car so far.
All the latest car news
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the here. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: https://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml . Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.
To be kept in the loop on all the manufacturer offers and great car deals we spot each week, sign up for our Which? Car email – delivered to your inbox every Friday, and including all our latest news and first drive reviews, too.