New vehicle registrations in El Paso County hit a rough patch last month, skidding to the lowest monthly total since February 2013, according to a report from the El Paso County Clerk & Recorder's Office.

Registrations in March declined 16.5 percent from March 2013 to 1,685. It's the first time they have dropped this year after jumping more than 20 percent in both January and February compared with the same month in 2013.

For the first quarter, however, new vehicle registrations were up 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 6,214.

Registration are related to sales, but they're not identical because Colorado residents have up to 60 days to register a newly purchased vehicle.

Subaru remained the top-selling make for the third consecutive month with a 21.1 percent increase from March 2013. Sales of Fords, Hondas and Toyotas declined by more than 20 percent during the same period.

Nationwide, new vehicle sales in March were up 5.7 percent from March 2013, with trucks responsible for more than 90 percent of the increase, according to Autodata Corp. New vehicle sales in the first quarter were up 1.4 percent from the same period a year ago to 3.74 million.

Statewide registration data for March is not yet available, but February's total was up 11.9 percent from February 2013 to 15,738, and the total for the first two months of the year was up 7.9 percent from the same period a year ago to 27,440, according to the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.