New car sales plunge in January

The number of new cars bought in January plunged by nearly 32% in January to just over 48,000, according to motoring organisations Bovag and Rai Vereniging.

Tougher tax rules which came into effect in January are to blame, the organisations said, pointing to the 6% rise in sales in December, as new car buyers sought to beat the deadline.

Over 2012 as a whole, new car sales were down almost 10% to just over 502,000. The organisations expect a drop of some 4.5% this year.