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New car sales reach 12-year high for January with 175,000 registered

New car sales reached a 12-year high in January, according to an industry trade association.

Almost 175,000 cars were registered in the UK last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

This is up 2.9% year-on-year and is the most in January since 2005.

Diesel registrations were down 4.3% but demand for petrol cars increased by 8.9%.

The alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) market grew 19.9% to take a record 4.2% market share.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "2017 got off to a good start in the new car market, buoyed by a great range of new models which are safer and cleaner than ever before.

"It's encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this positive growth, reaching a record market share.

"After record growth in 2016, some cooling is anticipated over the coming months, but provided interest rates remain low and the economy stable, the market is in a good position to withstand its short-term challenges."

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From Belfast Telegraph