New car registrations fall for first time in 43 months, SMMT finds

New car registrations fell in October for the first time in 43 months, the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have shown.

The SMMT's data, which was released on Thursday (5 November), shows that 177,664 new cars were registered last month, which is 1.1 per cent lower than the figure recorded in October 2014. It brings an end to over three and a half years of consecutive growth.

Nevertheless, the figures for the year-to-date are still very strong, with 2,274,550 cars registered in the first 10 months of 2015, which is 6.4 per cent more than at this time in 2014.

Market research such as this is always valuable to those working in the motor trade industry, whether it is an individual repairing cars part-time or a large dealership. Not only can it help inform their stock and working practices but it will also inform their decision when it comes to obtaining a road risks insurance or combined motor trade insurance policy.

While the market for petrol and diesel cars remained steady, the SMMT figures showed that the market for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) is continuing to grow at pace. The number of AFVs registered last month was 13.8 per cent higher than 12 months ago, with these low emission vehicles now accounting for three per cent of the total market for the first time.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "The UK car market has gone through a period of unprecedented growth and, so far, 2015 has been a bumper year with the strongest performance since the recession.

"As expected, demand has now begun to level off but the sector is in a strong position, as low interest rates, consumer confidence and exciting new products combine to attract new car buyers. The current full-year growth forecast remains on track."