The UK had the biggest drop, followed by Italy and Germany as Brexit and diesel worries bite.
Car sales in Western Europe fell in March, as demand fell in not just Britain, but Germany and Italy too.
According to data from LMC Automotive, registrations fell by six percent last month – approximately 1.7 million cars – while the seasonally adjusted annual rate – which is adjusted to take into account the changes expected dependant on the time of year – also fell by 5.9 percent to 14.1 million, LMC said.
In Britain sales slipped by 15.7 percent, while Italy and Germany endured less of a slump. Italy's sales fell by 5.8, while sales in Germany dipped by 3.4 percent. It wasn't all bad news though, in France and Spain new car sales actually rose by more than two percent.
The numbers supplied by the firm come from national data an estimates from smaller markets.
Last week we reported that the slip in UK new car demand had led to a decrease in manufacturing. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that British car manufacturing declined 4.4 percent in February, with production falling by double figures. But it's not just at home where sales suffered, exports also dipped by 0.8 percent, with 117,139 vehicles shipped overseas, which still accounted for more than 80 percent of output.
February production numbers for the UK fell by 17 percent to 28,336 units – the seventh consecutive month of decline in the UK. All in all, 145,475 units were produced, 6,757 fewer than the same month last year. Overall, year-to-date output declined by 2.3 percent, with 292,956 units rolling off production lines in the first two months of 2018, while domestic demand fell 11.9 percent and exports were steady, up 0.3 percent on 2017.