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New car sales soar

Strongest January for new car sales since 2007 – and three out of four private buyers now use finance.

New car registrations grew 6.7% last month to 164,856, according to the latest figures from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“January saw increased uptake of both petrol and diesel cars, while demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles continued its surge with registrations rising by 60.8%,” said the SMMIT’S Mike Hawes.

“Registrations of plug-in vehicles were particularly strong as consumers responded to a greater choice of makes and models delivering lower running costs,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) has revealed that there were almost 900,000 finance deals in 2014 – a new record for dealer finance in the UK and a 13% rise over 2013.

It means dealer finance was used to secure 76.1% of all new cars sold to private buyers last year.

Once again the Ford Fiesta was the bestselling car last month, but there was a surprise lower down with a Mercedes-Benz (C Class) making it into the Top 10.

 Bestselling cars (Jan 2015)         

  1.  Ford Fiesta          8,674
  2.  Vauxhall Corsa  6,879
  3. Ford Focus          4,824
  4. Nissan Qashqai 4,676
  5. Volkswagen Golf              4,387
  6. Audi A3                3,648
  7.  Mercedes-Benz C Class 3,534
  8.  Volkswagen Polo             3,517
  9. Fiat 500 3,145
  10. Vauxhall Astra   2,996

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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