June 5, 2018 / 4:35 AM / 2 months ago

UK car sales up nearly three percent in May, preliminary data shows

LONDON (Reuters) - British new car registrations rose by nearly 3 percent in May, recording a second consecutive month of growth after a year-long slump, preliminary data from a car industry body showed. 

Cars are displayed outside a showroom in west London October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Sales in April ended 12 months of decline to rise by an annual 10.4 percent, although the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders cautioned the increase reflected a poor performance in the same month in 2017 after a tax rise came into effect.

In May, demand in Europe’s second-largest autos market rose due to a near 20 percent increase in sales of petrol models, while demand for diesel cars dropped by around a quarter, as consumers shunned them over fears of tax hikes and bans. 

The industry body will release the final data for car registrations at 0800 GMT on Tuesday.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Alexander Smith

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