Spending using electronic cards has fallen.
Official figures show credit, debit and charge card transactions fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in March, after a similar fall the month before.
People spent less on fuel and items around the home, but splashed out more at bars and restaurants, as well as on clothes.
Core retail spending - which excludes the vehicles - fell slightly.
On an annual basis, card spending rose $279 million to $5.2 billion.
Electronic card spending makes up about two-thirds of all retail sales.