The UK new vehicle market suffered its eighth consecutive month of decline in November, with the government's "anti-diesel message" named as a main factor.
New auto registrations fell -11.2% year-on-year in November to 163,541 units pushing down year-to-date registrations to -5%.
United Kingdom new vehicle demand fell 11.2% in November to 163,541 units.
Diesel demand for the first 11 months of the year declined 16.1% to 1,008,267 units while petrol rose 3.1% to 1,268,641 - giving the fuel over a 50% share (53.1%) of the market - and registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles were up 34.6% to 111,236. Sales to fleet owners of more than 25 company cars or cars for rent fell by 14.4 per cent.
Richard Jones, the managing director of Black Horse, which is one of the UK's leading motor finance providers, said: 'These figures show the new vehicle market continues a trend of moving to a more sustainable position.
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, said: 'The new auto market is now year-to-date five per cent down on last year, in line with initial forecasts.
"An eighth month of decline in the new auto market is a major concern, with falling business and consumer confidence exacerbated by ongoing anti-diesel messages from government", said Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the industry trade body.
This follows the recent Budget, in which Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced he would be increasing taxes on brand new diesel cars in order to cut air pollution, rather than targeting older diesel cars, vans and trucks, that pump out far greater quantities of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants.
When it comes to the cars themselves, it appears the Ford Fiesta is flavour of the month, after missing out on the best-seller spot for a few months.
"An eighth month of decline in the new auto market is a major concern, with falling business and consumer confidence exacerbated by ongoing anti-diesel messages from government", said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.
"Penalising the latest, cleanest diesels is counterproductive and will have detrimental environmental and economic consequences".