UK New Car Registrations Falls for Third Month in a Row

The number of new cars registered in the U.K. fell in June, the third month in a row, as demand continued to cool following a record first quarter and changes to vehicle excise duty in April, an industry body said Wednesday.

A total of 243,454 cars were registered in June, compared with 255,766 in June 2016, taking the number for the first six months of the year to 1.4 million, a 1.3% fall from the same period last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. New car registrations closely mirror sales.

"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," said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes. "Provided consumer and business confidence holds, we expect demand to remain at a similarly high level over the coming months."

The SMMT said registrations are now more in line with the forecast for the year which currently stands at 2.6 million units, a 2.6% drop from 2016's level of 2.7 million. This is expected to fall further next year to 2.5 million units, according to the most recent quarterly forecast made by the SMMT in April. The SMMT's forecast is an average of data received from participating market analysts.

The SMMT said the U.K.'s top two best-selling cars for June were the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Fiesta.

Write to Ian Walker at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 05, 2017 04:59 ET (08:59 GMT)