Britain's businesses fuelled record new car sales for the first 11 months of the year, offsetting another month of falling demand from private car buyers.
Sales increased by 2.9 per cent during November compared with 2015 according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
With 184,101 vehicles registered during the month, a total of 2,514,764 is a record for January to November.
It was fleet sales that were driving the growth with a 5.1 per cent year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, private sales flopped 1.2 per cent in November, the eighth successive month of contracting demand.
The news boded well for a record full year of new car sales according to Ian Gilmartin, the head of retail and wholesale at Barclays.
“Further growth in the new car market in November, and it looks like we’re set for a record year when the December data arrives. Once again, strong fleet sales drove the positive result, with an impressive increase in alternatively fuelled vehicles a welcome bonus," he said.
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Motorpoint was forced into reducing stock levels in anticipation of lower customer demand, a move that impacted the bottom line of the company.
And Gilmartin said stemming the tide of decreasing demand will be front and centre for all players in the industry.
The private purchase figures have experienced a slight dip in recent months, so ensuring that this pattern doesn’t accelerate into a more sustained fall is sure to be top of the agenda across the industry as sellers begin to look forward to 2017.