New car sales in Wales are holding up better than the rest of mainland Britain and pure battery vehicles are booming toward record numbers.
SMMT figures for July showed a drop of just 1.18% to 5,551 registrations last month while they went down over 2% in Scotland and a whopping 4.57% in England.
Meanwhile, dealers in Northern Ireland reported a modest 1.18% gain in sales, bucking the trend of the other three nations.
Diesel sales have dipped for the 28th month in a row due to tax changes and effects on business users in particular.
The slowdown in new car sales has made dealers look at the used market and values are picking up there as well as sales, reports AA Cars.
James Fairclough CEO of the independent car sales site said, “Dealers are finding ways to offset this decline, and many have turned their focus to used cars and aftersales to boost their profit margins.
“Fortunately, the return on investment in used cars has held up well and there is little evidence of a significant fall in demand in the used car market. This demand is being underpinned by price-savvy buyers taking advantage of compelling deals and nearly-new vehicles with strong reductions.
“The picture we are seeing with our data reinforces this, with demand for second-hand vehicles remaining strong. We have seen a 12% increase in demand over the past 3 months compared to a year ago.”
Uncertainty over Brexit is a factor in some cases slowing demand, say major car dealers.
“The decline of -4.1% in new car sales in July shows that the Government must secure a Brexit deal which provides clarity to businesses and consumers”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association.
New passenger car registrations declined by -4.1% with 157,198 units registered in July.
Private demand declined by -2.0% and fleet -4.7%. Sales of petrol cars rose by 2.6%, diesel was down -22.1%, while pure electric vehicles saw an impressive growth of 158.1% in July and 70.6% year to date.