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Britain’s new car registrations fell to 149,279 in January, down by 7.3 percent year-on-year as private and fleet demand declines, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Wednesday.

Mainly driven by low consumer demand, registrations by private buyers decreased 13.9 percent yearly in January, with fleet registrations losing by 2.2 percent.

Dropping by 36 percent, registrations of new diesel cars declined for the 34th month, hitting the weakest performance since 2000.

However, alternatively fuelled cars continued to grow significantly, with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and battery electric vehicle increasing by 111.1 percent and 203.9 percent respectively.

The figures came one day after the British government announced to bring forward an end to the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 to 2035. The government proposals also include hybrid vehicles for the first time and people will only be able to buy electric or hydrogen cars and vans once the ban comes into effect.

“For the UK market to stand any chance of meeting the extremely challenging 2035 goal, an extensive package of government support is vital,” said the SMMT, adding that the measures must support a “smooth and sustainable transition” for industry and consumers. Enditem

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