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If you're looking for used car parts for sale for a recently manufactured vehicle, chances are it will be a much more economical car than any you've owned previously. The latest statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that fuel efficiency in new cars is now better than ever.

Fuel efficiency in new cars

The data shows that in the last decade average fuel efficiency in new cars has improved by 29.3 per cent and in November 2011 reached a record high of 52.5 miles per gallon. By comparison, in 2011 a typical new car achieved just over 40 miles per gallon.

"Despite the chancellor delaying the three pence rise in fuel duty, our cost of fuel is still among the highest in Europe, so customers are sure to welcome the improvement in new car fuel efficiency over the last ten years," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

As the cost of motoring rises ever higher, it seems motorists are increasingly looking at vehicles that are cheaper to run, with diesel and alternatively-fuelled cars both taking record shares of the market last month. Diesels now account for 55.6 per cent of all new cars sold.

The SMMT's figures also revealed that demand for new cars actually fell in November to 134,027 units, down from 139,875 units in the same month last year, perhaps as more motorists are maintaining their current vehicles by adding new parts or buying used cars instead.

Those who are opting for new cars seem to prefer reliable Ford and Vauxhall motors over sportier vehicles. The Ford Fiesta has been the most popular car so far this year, with 90,701 units sold, followed by the Ford Focus and the Vauxhall Corsa.

SMMT figures also show that the new van and truck market continues to grow, with registrations up 19.1 per cent to 27,187 units in November 2011 compared to the same month in 2012.