18 May 2013

New car sales in Europe rise

9:27 am on 18 May 2013

New car sales across Europe rose in April for the first time in 18 months, helped by strong demand in Britain and by the early Easter break.

Registrations rose 1.8% to 1.08 million in April, compared with a year ago. The last rise was in September 2011.

While the figure was an improvement on last year, it was the third lowest total for April on record.

However, British sales were 15% higher. Without these, registrations would have recorded another fall.

The BBC reports seasonal factors also flattered the figures: most of Europe had two more selling days last month because the Easter holiday fell in March this year.

Demand for new cars across Europe last year was the lowest in 17 years.