UK car sales increase for 16th consecutive month

image captionThe Ford Fiesta is the biggest selling car so far in 2013

UK new car registrations jumped by 13.4% in June from a year earlier, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said.

It marked the 16th consecutive month that car sales have risen, with almost 215,000 new vehicles registered in June.

The rise was driven by strong growth in demand from private buyers.

The SMMT said that car sales this year were on track to be "well ahead" of levels seen in 2012.

The private, fleet and business sectors all grew from January to June, with growth in private sales jumping by 17.1% in the first six months of the year.

The best selling model this year so far is the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Ford Focus and Vauxhaul Corsa.

The rise in UK car sales contrast with falling sales in other European countries.

David Raistrick, UK automotive leader at Deloitte, said: "The need to compete by providing the low finance rates highlights the increasing importance within Europe of the UK market as the level of sales in Germany, France, Italy and Spain continues to contract."

"With base rates remaining at historically low levels, there is no immediate end in sight for the availability of relatively cheap financing options for the UK car buyer."

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