May 4, 2018 / 4:34 AM / 9 months ago

New car sales rise for first time in a year, diesel slumps again

Cars are displayed outside a showroom in west London October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - British new car registrations ended a year-long run of declines to rise by an annual 10.4 percent in April although an industry body cautioned the increase reflected a poor performance in the same month last year.

Demand in April 2017 dropped 20 percent as a tax rise came into effect.

Sales last month reached 167,911 units according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) which also said there were more selling days last month compared with the April 2017 due to the timing of Easter.

Demand for diesel cars dropped by 25 percent in Europe’s second-largest autos market as customers continued to worry about tax rises and looming bans and restrictions in many countries.

“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,” said SMMT CEO Mike Hawes.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by William Schomberg

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