The UK car market grew by a little over eight per cent last month, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes explained: "After the bumper plate-change month of March, the UK car market returned to more modest but still positive growth in April."
A modest 176,820 vehicles were registered in April, down significantly from 464,824 car registrations in March. The SMMT has slightly increased its forecast for the year, from 2.3 million new car registrations to 2.4m. The SMMT says sales have continued to grow for the 26th consecutive month thanks to improving wages and a fall in inflation.
The big winners continue to be the Ford Fiesta and Focus models, followed closely by the Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Corsa. Sales of the Nissan Qashqai rose sharply last month, thanks to the release of the new model. In the year to date, the Ford Fiesta occupies the No.1 spot with a massive 49,490 vehicles registered, followed by the Focus and Vauxhall Corsa.
Diesel car registrations continued to rise sharply and now represent 51.4 per cent of the market, up from 50.3 per cent the previous year. Petrol vehicle models accounted for 46.9 per cent of the UK car market, while alternatively fuelled cars, such as plug-in electric cars occupy just 1.7 per cent of the market, with 2949 cars registered for April.
New car registrations in the EU have seen a rise for the seventh consecutive month to March this year, with a grand total of 3.25m vehicles registered in the first quarter of 2014. The UK is now the second largest market for new cars in the EU, and contributed just less than a third of first-quarter registrations this year.