British car sales hit six-year high in 2013: Trade data

LONDON (AFP) - Sales of new cars in Britain accelerated last year to the highest level since 2007, industry data showed on Tuesday, as the nation's economic recovery also picks up speed.

Nearly 2.265 million new cars were registered in 2013, compared with 2.045 in 2012, industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement.

That marked a gain of 10.8 per cent, which marked the largest annual percentage increase since 2007.

"With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK new car market has helped stimulate the country's economic recovery," said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

"While the European market is only now showing signs of improvement, the UK has consistently outperformed the rest of Europe with 22 consecutive months of growth.

"The 10.8-percent increase in 2013 reflects the attractive financial offers available as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced new cars." Looking ahead to 2014, the SMMT forecast that the market would stabilise with new car sales growth of about 1.0 per cent.