New sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles grew 33.1 per cent in November, according to figures from the SMMT.
Petrol cars also saw a modest gain of 5.0%.
New diesels however dropped significantly by 30.6%
Overall, the UK new car market declined for an eighth consecutive month in November. 163,541 vehicles were registered, down -11.2% year-on-year, driven by a significant fall in diesel demand.
Business, fleet and private registrations all fell in the month, down -33.6%, -14.4% and -5.1% respectively. Registrations fell across all body types except specialist sports, which grew 6.7%. The biggest declines were seen in the executive and mini segments, which decreased -22.2% and -19.8% respectively, while demand in the supermini segment contracted by -15.4%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “An eighth month of decline in the new car market is a major concern, with falling business and consumer confidence exacerbated by ongoing anti-diesel messages from government.
“Diesel remains the right choice for many drivers, not least because of its fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. The decision to tax the latest low emission diesels is a step backwards and will only discourage drivers from trading in their older, more polluting cars. Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, penalising the latest, cleanest diesels is counterproductive and will have detrimental environmental and economic consequences.”