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Demand for new cars in the UK slumped to the lowest level in 21 years for the month of September, traditionally a period of bumper sales following the release of a new number plate.
In a sign of increasing consumer caution, car sales dropped by 4.4% last month compared with a year earlier, to 328,041 vehicles, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This was the worst September performance since the introduction of the dual number plate system in 1999, the first year that new plates were released in both March and September.
The sluggish sales were even lower than the disappointing numbers recorded in September 2018 and 2019, when tougher emissions