Petrol price steers drivers to fuel-efficient vehicles

Soaring petrol prices and household bills are encouraging more people to buy fuel-efficient cars, according to new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It said private car sales in February rose by the most since the end of the Labour Government's car scrappage scheme in 2010.

Car registrations jumped by 7.9 per cent in February which is traditionally the slowest month of the year ahead of the new number plate which came in at the start of March.

Sales have now risen every month for the past year.