By Daniel Hunter

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said that UK new car registrations outperformed expectations in March, jumping almost 6% against a year ago.

The SMMT said March, when new number plates are released, was typically a strong month for car registrations.

However, the increase this March is well above the almost 2% recorded at the same time last year. The UK figures defy the EU trend, which remains downwards.

There were 394,806 registrations of cars with the new 13-plate, a 5.9% increase year-on-year, supported by strong demand for private registrations, which rose 7.8%.

“UK new car registrations out-performed expectations in March, the first month of the new 13-plate. The market increased more than 5% on March 2012 to almost 395,000 units,” said SMMT Interim Chief Executive, Mike Baunton.

“Despite ongoing economic concerns, consistent monthly growth in the market is an encouraging sign of returning consumer confidence as motorists are attracted to forecourts by new models and the latest technologies.”

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