New car sales fall in November

Another month of modest decline but relative overall stability


New car registrations were down by 3% in November, just as they were in October, according to the latest data released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Private new car sales were largely the cause of this month’s fall, down more than 6% on the same month last year. Fleet sales, which make up the majority of new registrations, were down by less than 1%.

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In terms of market breakdown, there was relative stability among fuel types. Diesel sales for November were just over 32% of the overall total, which is in line with the year-to-date figure. Petrol engines made up 61% of the total and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (hybrids and electric cars) were just under 7%, about 1% over and under their year-to-date results respectively.

November 2018 new car registrations

Ongoing supply issues for some brands

Supply issues continue to play havoc with some manufacturers in the wake of new WLTP fuel economy and emissions regulations that came into force in September.

Audi had a third shocking month in a row, with registrations down 43% in November after being down by 53% in both October and September. Ford, Hyundai and Nissan were other big names with a poor month.

On the sunnier side of the street, Kia, SEAT, Skoda, Vauxhall and Volvo all had strong performances in November. For the two Volkswagen junior brands, supply definitely appears to be improving as WLTP-compliant models start flowing freely through to dealerships.

Hatchbacks dominate top ten

Seven of the top ten-selling cars in November were hatchbacks, with the remaining three SUV/crossover models and no saloons or estates to be seen.

November 2018 top ten selling cars

As usual, the Ford Fiesta is parked in the top spot, although only 500 units ahead of the Volkswagen Golf. The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class had another sterling month to again finish in third place, while the Nissan Qashqai recovered to fourth place after a slow month in October.

An improved fifth place for the Mini hatchback in November means it has overtaken the Volkswagen Polo in year-to-date registrations, while the Mercedes A-Class has also jumped the Ford Kuga, which fell back out of the top ten this month.

Stuart Masson
Stuart Masson
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

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