February 5, 2019 / 9:15 AM / 3 months ago

UK new car sales fall 1.6 percent in January

FILE PHOTO: New Land Rover cars are seen in a parking lot at the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood in Liverpool, northern England, September 12 , 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - British new car registrations dropped 1.6 percent last month as a double-digit drop in demand for diesel vehicles continued to weigh down sales, according to data from a car industry body.

Sales fell to 161,013 cars, the fifth consecutive month of declines, pulled down by a 20 percent fall in diesel car registrations, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“To restore momentum, we need supportive policies, not least on vehicle taxation, to encourage buyers to invest in new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

Reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by Andy Bruce

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