New car registrations fell by 9.3% in July and for the fourth month in a row, new figures have revealed.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), demand was down on all fronts, with fleet sales falling by 10.1% compared with July 2016’s figures.

Business sales dropped by 23.8% and private registrations fell by 6.8%. SMMT blamed uncertainty surrounding Brexit for the drop.

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) grew by 64.9% to hit a record 5.5% market share, while registrations of new petrol and diesel cars fell by 3.0% and 20.1% respectively, with the SMMT blaming “months of speculation” about future government policies on the reduced demand for diesel vehicles.

In the first seven months of 2017, 1,563,808 new cars were registered – 2.2% down on the figure from January?July 2016 ? with the first quarter’s strong performance holding the market up.

The Ford Focus topped the best-sellers list in July, with 5,251 units registered during the month. It is followed by the Volkswagen Golf on 5,236 units and the Nissan Qashqai on 4,640. However, the Ford Fiesta is the most registered vehicle so far this year, with 62,752 sold in the first seven months of 2017.

“The fall in consumer and business confidence is having a knock on effect on demand in the new car market and the government must act quickly to provide concrete plans regarding Brexit,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “While it’s encouraging to see record achievements for alternatively-fuelled vehicles, consumers considering other fuel types will have undoubtedly been affected by the uncertainty surroundingĀ the government’s clean air plans.”

He added: “It is important to remember that there are no plans to charge drivers using the latest Euro 6 models, and no proposed bans for conventional petrol and diesel vehicles for some 23 years. The lower demand in recent months will inevitably mean competition from manufacturers will intensify and it will be a good opportunity for consumers to get a great deal on their next car, with many exciting new models launched in the coming months.”

Related content:

New car registrations fall for third month in a row in June

New car registrations fall in May

New car registrations collapse in April as new VED rates come in