A dismal December when new car sales plunged 23% from year-ago levels led to an annual decline of 13.2% in 2012 with little expectation of improvement in 2013, according to Spanish car makers’ association Anfac.

The association noted that the figures could have been worse but for a government new car subsidy scheme introduced on 1 October in an attempt to offset the affect of a 3% hike in value added tax that was introduced in September.

The subsidy meant the slide in new car sales was less marked than expected, Anfac said.