New car dealers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all posted hefty double-digit year-on-year declines in March. These ranged from 15% for England to 21% for Scotland with Northern Ireland coming in with an annual decrease of almost 17%. Last month was the quietest March for NI new car dealers in five years. This wasn’t due to the Beast from the East dissuading would-be car buyers from venturing out to dealers’ forecourts. Instead the steep falls are largely due to the inflated sales figures in March 2017. Back then Northern Ireland car sales increased by 10% y/y. However, this was distorted by a change in Vehicle Excise Duty in April 2017, which incentivised consumers to bring forward their plans to buy a new car.