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The love affair with driving continues as UK new car sales to June rose at the fastest rate on record, a motor industry survey has found.

The figures, released by the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), highlight a 7% rise in new car sales in the first six months of the year, taking the total to more than 1.3 million.

Low interest rates, attractive finance deals and a preference for newer models with the latest technology encourage consumers to buy new cars, the SMMT has reported.

There appears to be a trend emerging which shows that British buyers are increasingly choosing British-built models with 14% of customers opting for a car manufactured in the UK in the first six months of 2015 – the highest recorded level in five years.

Another growth area highlighted was the increase in demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles. Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles rose by over 70% in June from the same month last year. In terms of popularity the Ford Fiesta comes out as the top-selling car model this year (so far!) closely followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus.UK models Nissan Qashqai and Mini were also among the overall top 10 sellers.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "It is still a great time to buy a new car in the UK, and it is encouraging to see more consumers choosing British models. "This is important for the wider economy with 799,000 people now employed across the UK automotive sector, including retail."

While June marked the 40th consecutive month of growth for new car sales will this continue?

Mike Hawes seems to think not."We anticipate a flatter second half of the year as the market finds its natural running rate," he said.


Top 10 selling cars of 2015 (to date):

1. Ford Fiesta

2. Vauxhall Corsa

3. Ford Focus

4. Volkswagen Golf

5. Nissan Qashqai

6. Vauxhall Astra

7. Volkswagen Polo

8. Audi A3

9. Mercedes Benz C-Class

10. Mini


By Tracey McBain