New car sales slow down, says study

There was a slowdown in new car sales in November, with the total showing a drop of 4.2% on the year before.

November saw 134,027 new registrations, taking the number sold in the first 11 months to 1,822,065, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed. This shows a fall of 4.5% on the total for the previous January-November.

However, the total for last month was around 5,000 units higher than expected. The slower sales of new cars is hardly a surprise in the current tough economic climate but could mean motorists are making sacrifices to cover the vital bases such as car insurance and breakdown cover.

The SMMT's chief executive said new models' fuel efficiency broke all records. The average new car managed 52.5 miles to the gallon, said Paul Everitt.

He said Britain's fuel cost is among Europe's highest despite George Osborne's delay in the 3p fuel duty rise. Given this, Mr Everitt felt sure customers would welcome "the 29.3% improvement in new car fuel efficiency over the last 10 years."

The improvement showed industry was committed to delivering good value to motorists, he said.

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