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SMMT predicts falls in car registrations for 2017 and 2018

Car registrations are expected to fall from 2016’s record level as VED changes and continued Brexit uncertainty take their toll.

SMMT predicts falls in car registrations for 2017 and 2018

SMMT predicts falls in car registrations for 2017 and 2018

In its forecasts for new car and LCV registrations for 2017-19, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said car registrations this year are expected to hit 2.565m units, 4.7% down on 2016’s record level of 2.693m, while diesel car registrations are expected to stand at 1.091m units, down 15.1% on the 2016 level and giving a 42.5% share of total car registrations.

The SMMT also predicted the decline would continue into 2018, with expected car registrations of 2.426m units – down 5.4% on the 2017 forecast level – although it said that the decline would slow down in 2019, when car registrations are forecast to hit 2.397m, down 0.3m and 1.2% on 2018.

It also predicted the downturn in diesels would continue in 2018, with diesel car volumes of just under 1 million, down 9.4% on 2017’s forecast and making up 40.7% of total car registrations, and reaching around 943,000 units in 2019.

In response, Chris Bosworth, director of strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said the car industry is “yet to see the full consequences of a simultaneous shift in consumer behaviour and government and regulator policy changes” and said that consumers would increasingly look to the used car market.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.