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The new car market fell by 1.3% last month, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, with 156,621 units registered.

The decline was driven primarily by weak private demand, with registrations down by 6.1%, while the business market also fell, down -3.2%, however, fleet registrations fared better, up 2.8%.

For the second consecutive month, total alternatively fuelled vehicle registrations reached a record market share, with more than one in 10 cars joining UK roads either hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric – equivalent to 16,052 cars, the SMMT added.

Demand for battery electric cars increased by 228.8%, with 4,652 registered, while the markets for plug-in hybrids and hybrids also rose by 34.8% and 15.0% respectively.

True fleet registrations dropped by 4.8%

Meanwhile, petrol grew 2.0%, taking the lion’s share of all registrations (62.2%), as diesel fell by 27.2%. Year-to-date, the overall UK new car market is down -2.7%, with the SMMT blaming a number of factors, including weak business and consumer confidence, economic uncertainty and confusion over diesel and clean air zones.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “These are challenging times for the UK new car market, with another fall in November reflecting the current climate of uncertainty. It’s good news, however, to see registrations of electrified cars surging again, and 2020 will see manufacturers introduce plenty of new, exciting models to give buyers even more choice. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go for these vehicles to become mainstream and, to grow uptake further, we need fiscal incentives, investment in charging infrastructure and a more confident consumer.”