September saw car sales accelerate to an all-time high for the month, according to industry figures.
The latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has shown a jump in the number of purchase for petrol vehicles in particular.
Traditionally, September is a strong month for car sales, and sales increased for all types of vehicles, including diesel cars. However, a 12.3 per cent increase in petrol car sales pushed the total number of registrations to 462,517. That's an 8.6 per cent increase compared to September 2014.
Volkswagen emissions scandal
Analysts had been concerned that the Volkswagen emissions scandal may have hurt car sales. The controversy, which broke last month found that the world's biggest car manufacturer had fit out millions of vehicles with a device that gave a false result during emissions tests. Cars in multiple countries have been affected and Volkswagen's shares have dropped more than a third in recent weeks.
It is likely that advance deposits on diesels – some of which were made months ahead – may have helped to cushion the blow to the car industry, reports the Guardian.
Commenting on the figures, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "September is traditionally one of the year’s biggest months for new car registrations, and last month set an autumn record."
He noted that it was "too early to draw conclusions", but that consumer demand for diesel remains strong and that around half of cars registered were diesel.
"With plenty of attractive, affordable deals available on the new 65-plate, Britain's car buyers - whether private, fleet or business consumers - were busier than ever. The market reached pre-recession levels some time ago, and we anticipate some levelling off in the coming months," he added.
The total number of cars registered in 2015 so far is 2,096,886. That's 7.1 per cent higher than at the same point last year. It's also the first time since September 2004 that the two million mark has been passed in the month.
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