New car sales went into a deepening decline last month as demand for diesel vehicles collapsed by nearly a third, industry figures show.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said faltering business and consumer confidence were partly to blame as new registrations dropped by 12.2% to 158,192 in October.
The 12.2% decline for the wider industry was the seventh in succession and the worst since April, when sales volumes had been affected by tax changes coming into effect.
However, petrol vehicles improved to record a small increase, of 2.7%, in October.
For the year to date, overall new car registrations are down by 4.6% compared with the first ten months of 2016