New car registrations dropped for the first time in more than three and a half years (43 months) in October, the latest Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders data has revealed.

According to the SMMT, 177,664 new cars were registered in the month, representing a 1.1% drop on last year’s figures, however, year-to-date registrations are up by 6.4% at 2.2m cars.

However, fleet registrations grew by 2.2% compared to September 2014.

Diesel and petrol market shares remain stable, though October’s alternatively-fuelled vehicle volumes were up by 13.8%, reaching a 3% market share.

Volkswagen’s registrations were down by 9.8%, potentially partly as the knock-on impacts of the emissions scandal start to emerge, however, it is not the only big brand experiencing a drop in registrations with Vauxhall’s registrations falling by 16.3% in October.

Meanwhile, the number of Seats registered fell by 32.2%, and Skoda’s figures were down by 3%, though, sister brand Audi’s registrations increased by 2.2% compared¬† with October 2014.

“The UK car market has gone through a period of unprecedented growth and, so far, 2015 has been a bumper year with the strongest performance since the recession,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“As expected, demand has now begun to level off but the sector is in a strong position, as low interest rates, consumer confidence and exciting new products combine to attract new car buyers. The current full-year growth forecast remains on track,” he added.

The Ford Fiesta remained at the top of the charts with 8577 units registered during the month.