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Emissions changes boost UK new-car registrations in August

New-car registrations in the U.K. in August rose 23.1% year over year as price-conscious buyers took advantage of promotions and dealer incentives ahead of the Sept. 1 introduction of new emissions regulations, according to figures released Sept. 5 by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT.

The SMMT said 94,094 vehicles were registered in August 2018 compared to 76,433 in the same month in 2017.

Demand in all sectors increased, with consumers raising year-on-year registrations by 23.3% and fleets by 19.7%.

Electric-vehicle registrations, which include hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric cars, accelerated 88.7%, bringing the sector its highest market share of 8%.

Year-to-date registrations fell 4.2%, in line with forecasts following a turbulent first eight months.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said that while "it's great to see such strong growth, particularly in the important electric vehicle market," it does not mean the market is booming. Hawes attributed growth to regulatory changes on emissions testing and the registration-plate change month of September.