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British new car registrations fell 8.5% in May 2017

by Saima Omar | 08 Jun 2017

Car sales dropped to 186,265 vehicles in May, with a 14% fall in demand to consumers and a 5.3% drop in fleet business registrations, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

"We expected demand in the new car market to remain negative in May due to the pull-forward to March," SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said, referring to a rise in vehicle excise duty which boosted the need for new cars before it came into effect in April.

"Added to this, the general election was always likely to give many pause for thought and affect purchasing patterns in the short term," he said.

Demand for diesel continued to fall last month with demand down 20 percent, as a series of tax hikes in London and possible levies in other cities continued to dampen demand.

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