Sales of new cars tumbled by 20 per cent in April from a year ago. The industry has said the fall is to do with consumers bringing forward purchases to avoid a rise in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said a total of 152,076 new cars were registered in April.
Sales of alternatively fuelled cars fell.
For the first four months of the year overall car sales were up by 1.1 per cent to a record 972,092.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes believes the market will stabilise this year.
He said: “With the rush to register new cars and avoid VED tax rises before the end of March, as well as fewer selling days due to the later Easter, April was always going to be much slower.
“It’s important to note that the market remains at record levels as customers still see many benefits in purchasing a new car. We therefore expect demand to stabilise over the year as the turbulence created by these tax changes decreases,”