Diesel and alternative fuel car sales reach record highs

  • Diesel cars took a record 50.8% market share, with sales of just over a million compared with 978,000 petrol vehicles.
  • Sales of alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric, increased by 9.4% to almost 28,000, a market share of 1.4%, a new high.

Private sales of new cars increased from 823,000 to 929,000, fleet sales increased by 0.6% to just over a million, while business sales fell by 9.5% to just under 90,000.The SMMT said 2013 would be "challenging", but it expects performance to be on a par with 2012.

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Car sales surge above 2m

More than two million new cars were sold in the UK last year, an increase of 5.3% on 2011 and the highest since 2008, new figures have showed.