New car registrations speed to eight-year high

Jessica Morris
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Car sales saw their 35th successive month of growth (Source: Getty)

The UK car industry made a roaring start to the year with sales soaring 6.7 per cent in January, the highest level for that month since 2007.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said a total 164,856 cars were sold in January, compared to the 154,562 units shifted the same month a year earlier. The figure also represents the 35th successive month of growth.

The increase was driven by businesses taking advantage of the lower interest rate environment, giving their car fleets a "face-lift" for less. New car registrations by businesses rose 18.1 per cent to 89,640 in January, or the biggest rise in over a year.

"These figures mark an encouraging start to the year after a very strong 2014, with a strikingly robust company car market as businesses take advantage of the attractive finance offers currently available," said Mike Hawes, chief executive of industry trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

“Last year’s 9.3pc rise in the overall market was fuelled by stronger than expected economic confidence and, for 2015, we expect to see some levelling off throughout the year: demand is back to pre-recession levels following record-breaking growth.”

So which cars were the most popular in January?

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