The second consecutive month of growth after a poor 2017.

Initial data has been released that shows a surprise rise in new car registrations in May after they were on the slide for much of last year.

Registrations of new cars in Britain rose by three percent last month when compared with the previous year's figures, marking the second consecutive month of growth after a poor 2017. A total of 192,649 cars were registered in the country, driven by a 10 percent increase in demand from private buyers.

April sales marked an end of a solid year of decline, rising by an impressive 10.4 percent – although industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that the big rise compared to the same month last year was helped in part by the VED tax rise that came into effect in April 2017, which initially put many people off buying new cars.

Read also:

The rise of sales in Britain also coincided with an increase in sales of petrol cars in Europe – the world's second-largest automotive market. Petrol demand rose by 20 percent, while diesel demand has slumped by almost a quarter as fears of bans and tax increases continues in the wake of the Dieselgate crisis.

Earlier in the year new car demand in Europe was down by 5.2 percent, with poor sales from big manufacturers such as Nissan, Ford, and Fiat all contributing to the declining figures. Just 1.84 million cars were sold in the European Union and the European Free Trade Area in March, with overall first quarter growth sitting at 0.6 percent, according to the Brussels-based carmaker body, the ACEA.

Exact British figures for May are set to be released early next week.

Also check out: