Fleet new auto registrations fall in November as diesel demand drops again

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Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed just under 62,000 new diesels were driven from showrooms in November - 30.6% down on the same month in 2016.

DIESEL cars sales crashed by a third last month as the new vehicle market suffered another drop. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders were expected to show diesel auto sales fell sharply again.

Alex Buttle, director of auto website motorway.co.uk, said: "The flight from diesel has been so severe over the past few months that total sales figures are nearly meaningless as a point of reference for the health of the vehicle industry". Private registrations fell by 5.1%, while fleet registrations dropped by 14.4%.

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Petrol auto sales grew 5.0% in the month.

It's the eighth month in a row new auto registrations have dropped, and the overall drop - and the drop in diesel cars being registered - is much the same as the figures for October 2017.

The SMMT said the figures reflected Government policy, which includes the ambition of banning the sale of new all petrol and diesel engine cars by 2040.

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He also hit out at the Budget measures, saying more needs to be done to encourage people out of diesel vehicles - which were encouraged by previous governments as a cleaner alternative to petrol due to their lower Carbon dioxide emissions.

Electric care and other alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to make significant sales gains, growing 33.1%. Britain will increase tax on diesel cars that do not meet more stringent emissions standards, finance minister Philip Hammond said last month.

The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling auto in November, with 6,434 examples sold. "Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, penalising the latest, cleanest diesels is counterproductive and will have detrimental environmental and economic consequences".

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