UK car sales hit record high

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MORE new cars were sold in the UK last year than ever before.

Figures  for 2016 show that a staggering 2.69 million new cars were registered, making Britain one of the strongest motoring markets in the world. 

The volume represents an increase of 2 per cent on 2015, but analysts believe Britain has hit ‘peak car’ and that 2017 will witness a drop of between 5 and 7 per cent. 

The car bubble comes courtesy of high consumer confidence, low-interest financing and a diverse range of models according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 

It is also thought to reflect years of pent-up frustration among consumers desperate for a new car, but thwarted by the recession years from 2007-2011. 

But not everyone is convinced that the numbers are accurate. Some analysts note that the 2.69 million figure includes cars sold to dealerships, making the number of individual buyers significantly lower. 

In fact the number of private and business registrations actually declined by around 1 per cent.

There are also concerns for the future, particularly over what Brexit will mean for the industry. Almost nine out of 10 new cars purchased in the UK are imported, despite British production enjoying its own mini-boom. 

Car prices are beginning to rise and the devaluation of the pound following the referendum has already notched them up by almost 3 per cent. 

The evergreen Ford Fiesta was the most popular new car in Britain with 120,525 registrations, while the number of eco-friendly vehicles rose by 22 per cent. 

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