New car sales still accelerating

New car sales raced ahead again last month, according to official figures.

New car sales have surged ahead for the 30th month in a row, industry figures show
New car sales have surged ahead for the 30th month in a row, industry figures show

A total of 72,1 63 new vehicles were registered in August 2014 - a 9.4% rise on August 2013 and the 30th consecutive month of growth, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Last month's figure took the year-to-date total to more than 1.53 million - a 10.1% rise on the total for the first eight months of 2013.

The SMMT said August was one of the year's quietest months for new car registrations, typically accounting for around 3% of the annual market. In comparison, September, with the number plate change, usually makes up around 18% of the year's registrations.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said August 2014 had seen "confident private and fleet consumers continuing to snap up enticing deals on a wealth of advanced new products".

He went on: "The UK's performance in the context of Europe is particularly impressive, with growth consistently ahead of the rest of the EU for the past two years.

"As the UK market starts to find its natural level, we expect to see the growth level off during coming months."

The SMMT said private registrations had grown from around 840,000 units in the year before March 2012 to 1.15 million cars in the past 12 months.

These were the top-selling models in August 2014:

1. Ford Fiesta

2. Ford Focus

3. Vauxhall Corsa

4. Volkswagen Golf

5. Vauxhall Astra

6. Audi A3

7. Volkswagen Polo

8. Fiat 500

9. Vauxhall Insignia

10. Nissan Qashqai