The new car market is continuing its upward trend with yet another month of growth, reflecting increasing consumer confidence.
"2013 ended on a high, so it is encouraging to see the January market start the year strongly, rising 7.6 per cent year-on-year," said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which collates the UK figures.
A total of 154,562 cars were registered last month, compared to 143,643 in January 2014.
Notably, the number of alternatively fuelled vehicles registered, including electric cars, rose by 25 per cent year-on-year – from 2287 cars to 2859. Alternatively fuelled vehicles account for less than two per cent of the total new car market, compared to over 51 per cent for diesel powered vehicles and almost 48 per cent for petrol.
"As fuel economy is a major consideration for many motorists, ongoing investment by vehicle manufacturers in innovative, fuel-efficient technology is a key factor in the growing demand for new cars," said Hawes.
Manufacturers that performed particularly well in January included Bentley, which almost doubled its sales of 80 vehicles in January 2013 to 155 in in January 2014.
Dacia's success continued too, with its growing presence boosting sales from 294 to 1373 – a hike of 367 per cent, althugh January 2013 was its first month for registrations and most of its models are built to roder.
Hawes added: "Looking ahead, the UK automotive industry expects to see moderate, sustainable growth in 2014."
The UK car market exceeded a total of 2.265 million registrations in 2013, ahead of a forecasted 2.25 million.
UK's best-selling cars in January 2014
1. Ford Fiesta 9072 cars registered
2. Ford Focus 5333
3. Vauxhall Corsa 4470
4. Volkswagen Golf 4390
5. Volkswagen Polo 3875
6. Vauxhall Astra 3399
7. Audi A3 3130
8. Nissan Qashqai 3028