The latest sales figures for new cars show month on month sales in May were up 13.4% compared to May last year. Private registrations increased by 21.3%.

“It is extremely encouraging that new car sales continued to improve in May with dealers reporting increased footfall in showrooms” said Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK.

She added: “Consumers continue to be drawn into the showroom by new products and services offered by dealers and manufacturers.

“We also anticipate some pent-up demand from consumers who have delayed buying a new car due to economic conditions. However that purchase can no longer wait as their current car ages causing extra expense due to repair and maintenance costs. Many of these customers will look to buy a well-priced smaller vehicle that is more economical and has fixed motoring costs.”