British people have suddenly stopped buying cars and as BI's Jim Edwards notes, it's not clear why.

As the following chart from Barclays shows, both new- and used-car sales have collapsed...

 

While the slump in consumer confidence remains a major factor...

But as Edwards notes, a number of other factors are colliding simultaneously to hurt UK car sales:

UK car sales are especially vulnerable to fluctuations in demand because Britain's excess right-hand drive cars cannot be shipped to other areas of Europe, which use left-hand drive models.