It is the second highest registration figure for March since the twice-yearly plate change, according to new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Diesel cars recorded yet another increase in registrations, with an 8.3% gain in March. Volumes were up 19,183 units – 99.5% of the total market's gain in March.
The Ford Focus remained the UK's best selling model in March and the year so far. The supermini segment posted a further 4.4% growth in March and accounted for almost half of the total market's volume growth in March and three-quarters of the growth in quarter one.
“Growth in diesel and supermini cars shows that fuel efficiency and greener motoring are now critical concerns for buyers,' said SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan.
“The industry has been working hard to improve its environmental profile too. Carbon dioxide from tailpipes has reduced dramatically across all bar one of the sales segments since 1997 showing a net 12% reduction of CO2 across the whole market. The recent DfT "Act on CO2" consumer campaign is a welcome further step in a more integrated approach to sustainable motoring.”
UK car registrations
Top 10 best sellers