New car sales in the UK rose 10% in April as diesel demand slipped

New car sales in the UK rose in April amid a decline in demand for diesel models.

Car sales in April rose by 10% compared to the same period last year to 167,911, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The increase was partly because of the timing of Easter which gave dealers an additional two selling days, as well as the extreme weather conditions in March which pushed some deliveries into April.

However, the main reason for the year-on-year increase was last year’s depressed April market due to the VED changes that went into force.

car salesDecline in diesel sales

Diesel sales dropped by a quarter to 51,377, while demand for petrol cars grew this April, up 38.5 per cent.

Private demand grew 26.3 per cent, while fleet market demand remained largely unchanged 0.9 per cent. Business registrations declined the most, down 12.9 per cent compared with the same month last year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It’s important not to look at one month in isolation and, given the major disruption to last April’s market caused by sweeping VED changes, this increase is not unexpected.

“While the continuing growth in demand for plug-in and hybrid cars is positive news, the market share of these vehicles remains low and will do little to offset damaging declines elsewhere.

“Consumers need certainty about future policies towards different fuel types, including diesel, and a compelling package of incentives to deliver long-term confidence in the newest technologies.”

Accross the pond, Nissan had bad news regarding its sales in the United States.