New car sales for February have reached their highest level in more than a decade, with the number growing by 8.4% compared with the same month last year.
A total of 83,395 new cars were registered last month, marking the highest sales figures for February since 2004, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
An increase in private customer car sales has driven the growth, with figures showing a slight decline in demand for new company cars.
Vehicles that use alternative fuels, including hybrid and electric cars, have seen the largest growth – up almost 20% – with diesel and petrol registrations growing by 5.6% and 10.7% respectively.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “February is typically one of the quietest months of the year ahead of March’s plate change, but this positive performance is encouraging and puts the sector in a good position for the coming 12 months.”
Ford Fiesta topped the best sellers’ list, followed by the Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Qashqai, Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus.
While Volkswagen Group made an appearance in the top five, the company still appears to be suffering in the wake of last year’s diesel emissions scandal.
The German manufacturer has experienced a fall in sales for a fifth consecutive month – further evidence that customers are choosing alternative brands.