New car sales in Britain climbed in January to a 12-year peak, industry data showed on Monday, despite worries over the impact of Brexit.
Sales rose 2.9 percent last month to almost 174,564 vehicles compared with a year earlier, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement.
That was the highest monthly figure since January 2005. Sales had however declined by 1.1 percent in December 2016.
"January's increase in new car sales is highly welcome, but the strong suspicion remains that 2017 will be a significantly more difficult year for car sales," noted IHS Markit economist Howard Archer.
Many commentators and experts fear a slowdown in economic activity this year, with the government set to trigger Britain's departure from the European Union by the end of March.
"The car sales point to resilient consumer spending -- but January is not a big month for car sales and it is possible that some are buying cars now in anticipation that prices may rise," Archer said.
Britain's top-selling car in January was the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Volkswagen Golf, then the Ford Focus, and with the Mercedes-Benz C Class in fourth place, the data showed.