Research by the UK's National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) showed consumers are increasingly undecided on their next vehicle purchase.

The Autumn 2018 NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey revealed an increasingly large proportion of consumers remains unsure of their next vehicle purchase and that fewer consumers intend to purchase a diesel vehicle than before.

Government confusion over diesel was among factors threatening the future of the UK car industry, union Unite said earlier in response to news JLR was shuttering its Solihull factory for two weeks.

The NFDA said, when asked what type of car they were planning to buy next, 33% of respondents answered 'don't know'. Furthermore, just 9% of consumers revealed that they would purchase a diesel vehicle, compared with 40% of consumers opting for a petrol vehicle. 12% answered that they would purchase a hybrid with PHEV and EV being chosen by 3% of respondents each.

"The findings of the NFDA survey demonstrate the current confusion amongst consumers in the UK, providing an opportune moment for influencers and policy-makers to provide clarity," the NFDA said.

Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, said: "Once again, the survey demonstrates that unclear policies are harming the industry. The increasing number of consumers who are unsure what fuel type they will purchase next, coupled with a decline in the popularity of diesel, demonstrates the effect the current lack of clarity is having on consumers and the UK vehicle market generally.

"Diesel continues to occupy an important place in the UK car market, providing the best option for many consumers in terms of both cost and the environment. We therefore urge the government to clarify its position on diesel vehicles and allow consumers to make a rational, informed decision on their next purchase."