New car registrations drop

New car registrations fell 11.5 per cent on the year in January to 128,811 vehicles, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

The organisation predicted that 2010 would be a tough year.

"This is in line with SMMT forecasts and marks the beginning of a challenging year for the UK motor industry," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"Consumer confidence is low and it is important that government uses the March Budget to help relieve some of the financial pressure on motorists by freezing fuel duty, while providing stability and certainty on motoring taxes."