Scottish new car sales in the fast lane

Scotland’s new car market pulled ahead of the rest of the UK last month, new figures reveal, with industry leaders saying there was potential for further growth.

There was a double-digit hike in sales last month. Picture: Getty Images

Registrations of new motors in February totalled 6,183 north of the Border, an increase of just over 13 per cent compared with February 2018.

Sandy Burgess, chief executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, described it as an “outstanding result” noting that the year-to-date figure was showing growth of just below 11 per cent.

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He said: “It’s very encouraging to see registration growth in February. While the percentage is significant overall there is still some potential for further growth, especially for electric and hybrid models.

“Car manufacturers have made huge commitments to bring to market an ever-increasing range of exciting zero and ultra-low emission vehicles and give buyers greater choice.

“These cars still only account for a fraction of the overall market. However, if Scotland is to achieve our low carbon ambitions for 2032, a sizable level of investment aligned with a consumer package of incentives and infrastructure is needed.”

The Scottish breakout figures came a day after it emerged that, UK-wide, there had been a 1.4 per cent year-on-year rise in new car sales in February following five consecutive months of decline.

There were 81,969 new cars registered across the UK last month compared with 80,805 during February 2018, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

February is traditionally one of the quietest months of the year for the new car market ahead of the March number plate change.

Sales of petrol models rose by 8.3 per cent year-on-year last month, while diesels fell by 14.3 per cent. Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles jumped 34 per cent to take a market share of 5.5 per cent.