Difficult trading conditions saw new car transaction prices in the UK fall by an average of 1.58% during September compared to August according to data released by independent monitor, CarPriceCheck.com.

The figure means average transaction prices have fallen by 2.27% since the start of August for more than a third of the 4,600 models available on the British market.

September was the biggest month-on-month fall since last February when changes in company car tax legislation helped fuel a price fall of 1.34%.

The most aggressive manufacturers during the month were Renault, Nissan and the troubled Fiat group brands.

The cost of buying a Clio, Megane or Laguna from Renault dropped by an average of 1.96%, with Nissan slashing prices by 2.72% on its models and Fiat cutting a similar 2.74% figure on 90% of its entire range.

Alfa Romeo followed in the lead of its parent company, Fiat, by cutting prices by 1.56% on its most popular 147 and 156 models. The last time average Alfa prices fell in a single month was last January.

In August, Britain’s ‘Big Three’ of Ford, Vauxhall and Peugeot had boosted forecourt discounts by an average of 1.6%. Prices continued to fall for Ford and Vauxhall last month (down a further 1.8% and 1.12% respectively) but Peugeot delivered a more restrained 0.18% average increase.

The least price active manufacturers during September were BMW, Volvo and VW.

“Although it’ll still be a record year, the market is depressed at the moment. Some manufacturers could be about to record a fall in sales of anywhere between 12-20% on last September,” a CarPriceCheck spokesman said.

Dealers are increasingly competing on price and trying to attract buyers who are increasingly willing to shop around and take more time before committing to buy, he added.