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Car registrations plunged in March, according to figures from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Preliminary data shows the UK new car market shrank by 15.7% last month compared with 2017 -  although last year's record monthly figure was distorted by buyers rushing to purchase ahead of changes to vehicle excise duty.

Demand for diesel vehicles fell 37%; demand for petrol was flat; while alternative fuel models rose 5.7%.

New car sales fell for the first time in six years in 2017, with a 5.7% decrease to about 2.5 million vehicles.

Demand for diesel cars plunged by 17% last year, meaning the pace of decline for such vehicles in March has more than doubled.