The year to November total was also down by 3.1% to 2,211,054 units, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Diesel sales dipped for the first time since April, down 2.5% to 65,203 units.
“There is no doubt that environmental factors are rising up the agenda for new car buyers”, said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.
“Lower fuel consumption and emissions are now as important for many people as safety features and price.
“The good news is that manufacturers are bringing many new technologies to market and improving the performance of cars with traditional petrol and diesel powertrains.
“In addition we are providing more information to guide buyers, like the new car green label. We will be keeping a close eye on the Chancellor's pre-budget speech later today to see if he supports this progress with incentives for buyers.”
"November new car registrations are broadly in line with industry expectations - dealers are confident that the market remains on track to achieve a year-end forecast of 2.345 million units," said Sue Robinson, director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) - part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF).
"It’s clear that consumers are still finding their “financial footing” after a year of tough budgeting, but the industry continues to offer excellent deals in the showroom. In particular, the market has seen a major shift towards low emitting vehicles, to satisfy environmentally-conscious buyers."
She ended: "Dealers anticipate a healthy end to the year, and a positive outlook for 2007."