Car Sales Increased By Almost 11% In 2013
New car sales in the UK last year soared to their highest level since before the recession, according to industry figures.
A total of 2,264,737 cars were registered in 2013, up by 10.8% on 2012, and the highest number since pre-financial crisis 2007.
On average an extra 600 cars were sold each day in 2013 than the previous year.
The motor industry said improving consumer and business confidence, after an extended period of people putting off buying a vehicle and a competitive market place, had helped fuel sales growth.
But a car company boss has also admitted that cheap credit and people using compensation payouts from the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) as deposits, had played a significant role in the increased sales.
Duncan Aldred, managing director and chairman of Vauxhall Motors, told Sky News: "There's no doubt those two factors have been fundamental in the growth.
"The PPI mis-selling. It's estimated to have given around £3,000 per household in compensation, and in many cases that would have helped fund the deposit towards a new vehicle.
"There's also been some very strong finance offers. Vauxhall do a five-year 0% finance offer at the present time and that's helped stimulate the industry.
But he added: "The third factor is that we have come on the back of some low-levels of industry demand.
"So now there's a replacement cycle happening where new car-buyers are just saying 'I have to get my car replaced now, it's five years old, it's six years old, it's time to get a new one', and that is sustainable and that is something we will see grow into next year as well."
Ford took the top two slots for the best sellers, according to figures published by Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with Fiesta topping the chart followed by the Focus.
Vauxhall took third and fourth place with the Corsa, and then the Astra.
Private sales made up 1.07 million of the registrations last year - a rise of 15.6% on the 2012 share.
Both petrol and diesel-engined vehicle sales rose in 2013, but petrol's share of the market grew slightly - from 47.8% in 2012 to 48.8% in 2013 - while diesel's share dipped from 50.8% in 2012 to 49.8% in 2013.
While the number of hybrid and electric plug-in cars rose by 20.5% last year to 32,715 vehicles, their share of the market flat-lined at 1.4%.
The supermini sector was the largest last year, accounting for almost 36% of all sales.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK new car market has helped stimulate the country's economic recovery.
"The 10.8% increase in 2013 reflects the attractive financial offers available, as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced new cars.
"We expect new car registrations to remain stable in 2014 as customers return to a more regular replacement cycle."
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