LONDON -- UK new-car registrations fell by 36 percent last month to their lowest February level since 1959 as lockdown measures kept dealerships closed to the public.
Volume stood at 51,312 cars, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Car showrooms have been forced to close their doors to the public alongside other non-essential retail outlets, although many dealers are using online, delivery and click and collect services to continue to operate.
While February is a relatively low selling month, showrooms are set to remain shut in England in March, which accounts for around 20 percent of annual registrations as it is one of two occasions when the license plate series changes.
"These closures have stifled dealers' preparations for March with the expectation that this will now be a third, successive dismal 'new plate month'," SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said in a statement.