Consumers bought fewer new cars in February 2017 than the same month last year, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Overall new car registrations fell 0.3% to 83,115 units, but the year-to-date performance is up 1.5% to 257,679 registrations. Fleets drove the market, with 45,699 cars registered, up 3.3%, while private demand fell by 4.4% to 36,018 units. There was also a big boost for alternatively fuelled vehicles, as the market grew by 48.9% year-on-year.
SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said he expects to see the market bounce back in March "as buyers take advantage of the new ’17-plate, as well as the last chance to buy a car eligible for current lower vehicle excise duty rates before they change on 1 April."