Demand for new cars falls to 21-year low, says Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

Demand for new cars fell to a 21-year low last month, industry data shows.

Some 328,041 new cars were registered in the UK in September, down 4.4% on the total of 343,255 during the same month in 2019, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This was the weakest September performance since 1999 when new number plates began being issued twice per year, in March and September.

Sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars bucked the trend with rises of 184.3% and 138.6% respectively.

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Overall registrations during the first nine months of the year were down 33.2% compared with the same period in 2019.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “During a torrid year, the automotive industry has demonstrated incredible resilience, but this is not a recovery.

“Despite the boost of a

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