Brakes on new car sales as growth slows to 0.1% in July
Car sales have levelled off after a record 2015 and strong growth this year, new figures show.
New car registrations increased by just 0.1% in July, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
A total of 1,599,159 new cars have been registered so far this year, putting demand in the year to date 2.8% higher than for the same period in 2015 following a strong first quarter.
July followed the trend seen throughout this year, with lower private registrations offset by fleet purchases, which increased by 5%.
Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles remained strong, with 24.7% more registrations compared with the same month in 2015.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "After a healthy start to 2016 and record registrations in 2015, the market is showing signs of cooling.
"The automotive market is a vital part of the British economy and it's important government delivers the economic conditions which instil business and consumer confidence.
"With low interest rates, attractive finance options and exciting new models coming to the showrooms, the market still has lots to offer customers."
A total of 178,523 cars were sold last month, evenly split between petrol and diesel models.
The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling car, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and Vauxhall Astra.
More than 2.6 million cars were sold last year.