Sales of new cars in the UK fell again last month

Emma Haslett
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Fewer new cars were registered in the UK last month. (Source: Getty)

The number of new cars registered in the UK fell 4.8 per cent last month in another sign consumers are reigning in their spending.

Figures by the European Automobile Manfuacturers Association showed passenger car registrations across the continent rose 4.7 per cent in the first half of the year, and 2.1 per cent in June.

However, results across the so-called big five markets showed increasing levels of disparity: while registrations rose 12.9 per cent in Italy, 6.5 per cent in Spain and 1.6 per cent in France; in Germany they fell 3.5 per cent, while the UK's figure fell 4.8 per cent.

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Across the first six months of the year, UK registrations fell 1.3 per cent - the only one of the big five economies to show a fall.

Today's news provides further evidence the UK's record car sales are beginning to slow. Earlier this month the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) published figures showing new car sales had fallen 4.8 per cent in June, with 243,454 new vehicles registered.

However, the SMMT suggested the fall was partly an evening-out of sales after a bumper first quarter and "market turbulence" caused by changes to Vehicle Excise Duty.

At the time, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said:

As forecast, demand for new cars has started to cool following five consecutive years of solid growth but the numbers are still strong and the first half of the year is the second biggest on record.

Provided consumer and business confidence holds, we expect demand to remain at a similarly high level over the coming months.

Read more: Five charts that show what we learned about the UK economy in June

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