The UK's new car market has continued to grow in February, marking two consecutive years of increased sales.
In total, 68,736 cars were sold last month, according to new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), up by three per cent on last year. So far this year total car sales stand at 223,298 units, a rise of over six per cent on the same period in 2013.
While petrol cars continue to take a lead over diesel in the statistics, the numbers of alternatively fuelled vehicles, which includes electric cars, rose by over 45 per cent on February last year, to 1212 units.
In particular, the UK's small hatchback market has seen tremendous growth, almost doubling since 2012. That's put down to more motorists looking to downsize their cars to save money, with the trend likely to continue in the coming months thanks to the launch of new models including the 2014 Mini hatchback.
Manufacturers who performed well last month included Bentley, which almost doubled its sales of 34 cars in February 2013 to 67 units in the same period this year.
Dacia also continues to sell strongly in the UK, with sales of 475 cars last month meaning the brand posted a rise of 1339 per cent compared to February 2013.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the continued growth was "a real endorsement of consumer confidence and the attractiveness of the new car market.
"While February is typically a quieter month ahead of the March registration plate change, we expect the arrival of the new 14-plate and increasing economic confidence to maintain a steady rate of growth."