The UK car market made a positive start to 2013, with new car registrations posting an 11.5 per cent rise compared to January of last year. The Ford Fiesta continued its reign as the nation's best-seller, followed by the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.
A total of 143,643 new cars were registered in January, assisted by a 15.9 per cent increase in private registrations during the month.
The encouraging start to the year has prompted industry organisation the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to revise its full-year forecast to show modest growth in 2013.
"The new car market has started the year confidently," said Mike Baunton, Interim Chief Executive of the SMMT.
"Lifted by a solid rise in private demand, the new car market posted its 11th successive month of growth with motorists attracted to forecourts by the latest models and competitive deals on offer," he elaborated. "Building on a strong performance in 2012, SMMT has increased its market forecast – we anticipate a modest rise over the year, followed by further growth in 2014."
The market for alternatively fuelled cars enjoyed a healthy increase, with registrations for electric vehicles and hybrids rising by 7.9 per cent year-on-year.
However, the overall market share remains very low, with alternatively fuelled vehicles now accounting for 1.6 per cent of the market, compared with 50.7 per cent for diesel and 47.7 per cent for petrol.
The UK's best-selling cars, January 2013
1 Ford Fiesta 7906 units
2 Ford Focus 5794
3 Vauxhall Astra 5462
4 Vauxhall Corsa 5178
5 Nissan Qashqai 4280
6 Volkswagen Golf 3335
7 Peugeot 208 2959
8 Volkswagen Polo 2885
9 Nissan Juke 2522
10 Mercedes C-class 2356