The UK's new car market dropped 11.3% in 2008, according to figures seen by AM.
Car registrations during the 12 months totalled 2.13 million, and are forecast to drop below 2 million in 2009.
The total means that around 110,000 cars were registered in December 2008 - around a 21% drop on the 137,960 registrations of December 2007.
The official figures are due to be released tomorrow by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The UK is one of the last to release its figures. Several other European countries have already reported similar declines.
December registrations dropped 16% in France, 13% in Italy, 8% in Belgium and a massive 50% in Spain.