The industry believes car sales are likely to fall for the rest year, indicating that the market will be in recession by the end of SeptemberSIMON DAWSON/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

The motor market is heading for recession after a 13.5 per cent slump in used car sales was revealed — the steepest fall on record.

The industry has blamed a range of factors including wilting consumer confidence about the Brexit settlement and the return of a hung parliament, government-sown confusion over the future of diesel vehicles, and fears for the future of the car financing market.

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 1.83 million used cars changed hands in the three months from April to June, 285,000 fewer than in the same trading period in 2016. The fall is the largest since the SMMT began collating used car figures in 2001. The largest previous fall was eight per cent