Demand for new cars fell by 5.8% last month compared with the same month in 2019, according to new figures.

<p>The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 87,226 new cars were registered in the UK in August, compared with 92,573 during August 2019.</p><p>Registrations during the first eight months of the year were down 39.7%.</p><p>SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the decline was “disappointing” after the “brief optimism” seen in July.</p><p>July had seen an 11.3% increase in new car registrations, although this was due to demand that had been on hold during the <strong><a href=”https://news.sky.com/topic/coronavirus-8483″ target=”_blank”>coronavirus</a></strong> lockdown, and special offers.</p><p>Mr Hawes said: “However, given August is typically one of the new car market’s quietest months, it’s important not to draw too many conclusions from these figures alone.</p><p>”With the all-important plate change month just around the corner, September is likely to provide a better barometer. As the nation takes steps to return to normality, protecting consumer confidence will be critical to driving a recovery.”</p><p>Year-on-year demand was down 97.3% in April, 89.0% in May and 34.9% in June.</p><p>The SMMT has previously said it could take until the end of September for a clear picture to emerge on car market trends, however.</p>

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