FIGURES suggest more of the nation's car buyers than ever before are seeking out alternative-fuel models.
According to recently published sales figures for the new 14-plate registered cars throughout March, an even bigger proportion of buyers than ever before have been investing in hybrid and fully electric cars.
Out of all the 464,824 new car registrations last month – a rise of 17.7% over the previous March – 8,713 alternative-fuel cars were sold.
This, industry analysts have reported, represents a growth of 63.8% on sales in 2013.
The figures are part of an improving picture for the motoring industry as it recovers from the recession.
Since the move to a twice-yearly plate change in 1999, only March 2004 saw higher sales, with 466,954 new cars being snapped up.
Year-to-date registrations are now up 13.7% to 688,122 units, with March usually being the strongest month for sales.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which published the figures, said: "New car registrations surged 17.7% in March to 464,824 units, a surprisingly strong level of growth and a reflection of intensifying consumer confidence and the availability of great new products.
"Given the past six years of subdued economic performance across the UK, there is still a substantial margin of pent-up demand that is contributing to a strong new and used car market."