New car sales in the UK hit an all-time high last month, with more than half a million vehicles registered and many buyers opting for diesel cars.
Sales of new cars rose 8.4% from a year earlier to 562,337 in March, making it the biggest month since the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders started collecting data in 1976.
This was more than double the number in the first two months of the year combined, and took registrations in the past three months up 6.2% to 820,016 – making it a new record quarter.
Buyers seized the chance to buy cars before new vehicle excise duty rates came into force. From 1 April all new cars, apart from those with zero emissions, have to pay an annual flat rate charge.
A record number of diesel cars – 244,263 – were sold in March. But there was also a 31% surge in sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, to 22,818.
Demand from fleets and businesses was particularly strong, with registrations up 12.6% and 11.9% respectively. Private buyers also splashed out on new cars, with sales up 4.4%, reversing the decline seen in the previous month.
via The Guardian
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