The EU saw double digit (10.2%) growth in new car sales in January, with the figure reaching 1,170,220 for the continent.
This marked the fourth consecutive January where sales have grown year-on-year, and marked the highest number for the month since 2008, when the recession hit.
This was helped by double digit growth in four of the five biggest economies. Year-on-year, the Spanish market grew 10.7% in the month, the French market grew 10.6%, the German market by 10.5% and the Italian market grew by 10.1%
The UK, which sold more cars than any country other than Germany, saw sales increase 2.9% to 174,564.
Elsewhere, the Dutch market bounced back from a weak 2016 to grow 27.1% year-on-year to 51,536 registrations. The smaller Croatian and Romanian also managed more than 20% year-on-year growth.
The only countries where registrations were lower in January 2017 than 2016 were Ireland and Slovakia.
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The majority of brands saw increases roughly in line with the general market growth. Volkswagen Group, the largest manufacturing group in the continent, saw sales increase 10.3%, although Audi sales only managed a 2.7% increase year-on-year.
Of the five largest manufacturing groups, FCA Group managed the largest increase in sales – up 15% compared to January 2016.