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SMMT: Fleet demand drives registrations

Date: 14 March 2014

Business sales have helped British new car registrations hit a two-year high, according to car trade body the SMMT.

This February marked 24 months of continuous growth, up 3% to 68,736 units. Private sales increased by 2.1%, fleet demand was up 3%, and small business sales pushed ahead by 6.2%.

Year-to-date sales stood at 223,298 units, of which 112,553 were diesel, 106,674 petrol, and 4071 alternative-fuelled vehicles.

Since February 2012 the total market has risen by some 17.4%, with sub-supermini models like the Toyota Aygo seeing a 97% rise in demand, pushing them well ahead of superminis, which enjoyed a 16.4% increase, and lower medium cars, which have been the subject of a 20% demand hike.

The downsizing trend has seen demand for upper medium cars, which once dominated Britain's sales charts, fall by 18.5%. No upper medium model featured in the top 10 year-to-date sales for 2014.