New car sales see modest growth in April

New cars sales last month were 2% up on the previous April.

New cars sales last month were 2% up on the previous April. - Credit: SMMT

New car sales grew by 2% last month compared with April last year, according to industry figures.

Some 189,505 cars were registered last month, which is the most in April since 2003 when 194,312 new vehicles found homes, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

April's performance follows a bumper March in which more than half a million cars were sold – the second-biggest monthly total on record.

Registrations of petrol cars increased 3.4% last month, while diesels saw a slight 0.6% decline. Following the trend set in the first three months of the year, uptake of alternative fuel vehicles jumped by more than a quarter as buyers looked to reduce emissions and running costs.

April's performance puts registrations for 2016 to date 4.4% up on the same period last year.

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It follows a bumper March in which more than 518,000 cars were registered – the second-biggest month on record. Demand for cars has been running at a high level, after 43 consecutive months of growth in the market led to an all-time high of 2.63 million car registrations in 2015.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: 'After such a strong March, April's steadier performance was to be anticipated and is in line with our expectations for the year.

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'Consumer confidence remains high as buyers continue to capitalise on attractive finance deals, although this could be affected by political and economic uncertainty in the coming months.'

Ford led with way with the Fiesta again with 7,913 sales ahead of the Volkswagen Golf (5,645) and Ford Focus (5,562)

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