Frankfurt (AFP) - German new car sales increased sharply in September for the second month in a row, official data showed on Wednesday, driven by consumers taking advantage of sales and cheap financing.
The KBA transport authority recorded 298,002 new cars on the road in September, an increase of 9.4 percent over the same month in 2015.
September's figure follows a big increase of 8.3 percent reported by the KBA in August.
"Extremely low interest rates are making it possible for dealers and manufacturers to put together very attractive packages and attract more private customers," Ernst & Young partner Peter Fuss said.
While company fleets still account for two-thirds of the market, vehicles sold to private consumers jumped 22 percent over September 2015, compared with just 4.0 percent for business customers.
A study from the German CAR research institute showed a high level of discounts on new vehicles in September, with sales prices around 18.5 percent below list prices.
Businesses' wariness "could be a sign that the peak of the new-car boom in Germany will soon be reached," Mr Fuss continued.
In a statement, president Matthias Wissmann of the VDA carmakers' association stuck to forecasts of 3.3 million cars registered over the whole of 2016, "the highest sales in seven years".
Scandal-hit manufacturer Volkswagen -- which in September 2015 admitted to installing software to cheat emissions tests on 11 million cars worldwide -- retained the biggest share of the German market at 19.5 percent for its own-branded cars.
That put this September's figure 1.7 percent higher than the same month in 2015, at 58,000 vehicles.
Over the whole year to September, VW's sales remained 1.0 percent lower than last year.
BMW-owned Mini and Daimler flagship Mercedes were the fastest-growing German carmakers, increasing sales 35.3 and 26 percent respectively.
Among foreign carmakers, California-based Tesla saw sales of its electric cars increase by 183 percent -- but in absolute terms sold just 377 vehicles, a market share of 0.1 percent.
The KBA registered 1,641 new all-electric cars on the roads in September, up 77 percent, along with 1,420 plug-in hybrids, up 37 percent.
Between them they accounted for 1.1 percent of new registrations.
Berlin this year introduced subsidies for both types of cars as part of a drive to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging electric driving, so far to little effect.
A total of 2.56 million cars were sold from January to September, or 6.1 percent more than over the same period last year.