The automotive industry has downgraded its expectations for the year following the worst February for car sales since 1959.
Just 1.83 million new cars will be registered in the UK in 2021, according to the latest prediction from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In January it had forecast a figure of 1.89 million.
The change comes after demand for new cars fell by 36% last month compared with February 2020.
Only 51,000 new cars were registered as showrooms remained shut.
February is generally a slow month for car sales due to many motorists waiting for new number plates to be released in March.
If the prediction of 1.89 million new cars being registered this year proves accurate, it would represent a 16% rise from 2020 but an 18% decline compared with 2019.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “February is traditionally a small month for car registrations