By Jonathan Davies

Car sales in the UK grew for a 42nd month in a row in August, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT).

The industry body said sales were up strongly by 9.6% in August, when 79,060 new cars were sold. The latest figures mean that sales in the year so far are up 6.7% to 1,634,369.

Gains were made across all sectors and all fuel types, with registrations in the private, business and fleet markets up 7.2%, 11.8% and 12.1% respectively. The market for alternatively-fuelled vehicles, meanwhile, grew 52.3% year on year, maintaining a steady 2.4% share of the overall market.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “August’s strong performance has again been driven by attractive finance deals and a diverse range of technologically advanced models. Britain’s budget-conscious buyers are taking advantage of low regular monthly payments that provide certainty and affordability.‎ With September’s new 65-plate now in full swing, we expect UK showrooms to be as busy as ever.”

Richard Jones, Managing Director at Black Horse, Lloyds Banking Group's motor finance provider, said: “This month’s increase in new car sales continues the success story of the UK automotive industry. Innovations in stop/start engine technology and the utilisation of forced induction have greatly improved fuel efficiency for new cars making it more attractive than ever to own a new car. This coupled with the recent extension to the MOT requirement to four years now means that the cost savvy consumers will have more reason than ever to walk into a showroom. We are also likely to see more competition between sales of new and used cars as both manufacturers and dealers work hard to retain their competitive edge and attract new customers through the door.”