“The passenger car market collapsed [falling] 23.7 percent to 9,942,509 vehicles as a result of the pandemic,” ACEA said in a statement.

This is the lowest figure since registrations started in 1990.

“The measures taken against the pandemic including strict containment and other restrictions throughout the year have had an unprecedented impact on car sales in the European Union”, the same note reads.

However, after a disastrous spring and several months of ups and downs, December was one of the best months of the year, with a fall of only 3.3 percent.

Throughout the year, “all 27 markets in the European Union recorded double-digit falls,” stresses ACEA.

Among the largest markets, Spain saw the biggest fall (-32.3 percent), followed by Italy (-27.9 percent), France (-25.5 percent), Poland (-22.9 percent) and Belgium (-21.5 percent).

Germany, Europe’s largest market, also suffered a drop in sales (-19.1 percent), as did the Netherlands (-19.5 percent).

In the UK, now separated from the European Union, sales fell by 29.4 percent, according to ACEA.