UK car sales rose about 1 percent in February – preliminary data

FILE PHOTO: Cars are displayed outside a showroom in west London October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) – British new car sales rose by around 1 percent last month compared with February 2018, according to preliminary data released by an industry body on Tuesday.

Around 81,000 vehicle were registered in what is typically the quietest month of the year for the market.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders will publish final figures for February registrations at 0900 GMT on Tuesday.

British new car sales in 2018 fell by about 7 percent, their sharpest decline since the global financial crisis a decade earlier.

Europe’s second-largest car market has been hit by double-digit drops in sales of diesel vehicles due to uncertainty over government policy and a levy hike, and by Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union.

Demand for alternatively fuelled cars – such as electric vehicles – rose by around a third in February, extending a nearly two-year run of growth, the preliminary data showed.

(Reporting by William Schomberg; Editing by Mark Potter)

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