Sales of new cars slower - report

Sales of new cars slowed down in February, showing a 2.5% decrease on the previous February figure.

This time round there were 61,868 new registrations - with a 0.8% drop in sales over the first two months of 2012 from the same period last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

About 350,000 new 12-plate cars are expected to be registered in April, roughly 2% lower than the figure last March, and it is hoped within the industry that registrations will receive a boost in April when the new number plates go on sale.

Diesel car registrations actually saw a 4.9% increase which pushed the market share to 53.9%, up from 50.1% a year ago.

The Chancellor has been urged to use the Budget to bolster consumer and business confidence through encouragement of private investment and avoiding another living standards squeeze, said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"The March market will provide a much better indicator of industry health than the relatively low volumes traditionally seen in February," said Mr Everitt.

Copyright Press Association 2012