Registrations of new cars rose 3.3% in April to 142,322 cars - the third, and largest - increase so ...
New car registrations rise in April
Demand for private cars drives the new car market
Registrations of new cars rose 3.3% in April to 142,322 cars - the third, and largest - increase so far this year, latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show.
The increase was mainly down to private (as opposed to fleet) sales. Private registrations rose by 14.8% in April and by 7.3% in the year to date. In total, over the period from January to April, sales were up 1.4%.
The rising sales figures mean the SMMT has revised upwards its forecast for sales for the whole of this year to 1.95 million new cars, which if achieved would be 0.4% higher than total sales in 2011.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "We are seeing a steady increase in consumer confidence with growth in private demand, boosted by the arrival of a raft of new products.
"SMMT has increased its full year forecast to 1.95 million units, putting the market marginally ahead of 2011, indicating a period of relative stability."
However, sales are still a long way below pre-recession levels with total registrations to April 18% down on the comparable 2007 figure, but 15% up on the level seen in 2009.
The best-selling car in April was yet again the Ford Fiesta, with 8,780 sold just in the month and 42,170 sold so far this year. The second biggest seller is the Vauxhall Corsa at 6,184 in April and 29,934 so far this year.