New Delhi:Passenger vehicle sales declined marginally in October after increasing for three months in a row.

Sales in the category, which includes cars, vans and utility vehicles, fell 0.3% to 279,837 units in October from 280,677 in the year-ago period.

Small companies are holding back purchases as they looked to use discretionary cash for meeting compliance requirements for the goods and services tax (GST).

Corporate purchases account for 40% of sales, according to industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).

“Smaller companies have tried to conserve their money to deal with the compliance issues of the GST. Also, some of the smaller businesses have started to pay tax, which has led to erosion of discretionary cash at their end," said Vishnu Mathur, director general of Siam.

Motorcycle sales last month declined by 3.50% to 11,04,498 units compared to 11,44,512 units in October 2016. Total two-wheeler sales in October were also lower by 2.76 per cent to 17,50,966 units compared to 18,00,668 units in the year-ago month.

Sales of commercial vehicles, however, rose by 6.44% to 69,793 units in October, the Siam said.

Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 1.79% to 21,62,164 units, from 22,01,489 units in October 2016, it added.

PTI contributed to this story.