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UK car sales tumble 20 percent in April after bumper March

Staff Writer |
British new car registrations slumped by 20 percent in April, the biggest year-on-year drop for over six years after record demand in March.

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Sales fell 19.8 percent to 152,076 vehicles last month, traditionally a period when fewer vehicles are sold after a new licence plate series is issued in March, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

Demand in March was at a record high as individuals and businesses in Europe's second biggest autos market sought to avoid paying an increase in excise duty that came into force from April 1 for the most polluting vehicles.

Registrations so far this year are up 1.1 percent, despite forecasts that demand would fall by at least 5 percent this year due to the uncertainties around Brexit and after consecutive record performances.

Following an 8.4 percent rise in March and a slump in April, also hit by fewer selling days due to Easter, the SMMT said it foresaw less erratic swings in the months ahead.

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