A record number of UK car buyers are choosing ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), according to new research. In the first quarter of 2015, 8,573 passenger vehicles with CO2 emissions lower than 75g/km were registered, a year-on-year increase of 386%,

Latest registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that more than 41% of all alternatively-fuelled cars registered in the first quarter of 2015 qualified for the government's £5,000 plug-in car grant, up from 13% over the same period in 2014.

The government has set an aim for ULEVs to make up 5% of all new registrations by 2020, which is around 10,000 units.

Hetal Shah, head of Go Ultra Low, a joint initiative by government and the UK automotive industry, said: “The latest plug-in vehicle uptake figures prove that ultra-low emission cars and vans make sense for both private and business users, especially with the potential for fuel costs as low as 2p a mile and reduced whole life running costs.”

When it comes to regions, the latest registration figures show that car buyers in the South are most likely to opt for an ultra-low emission vehicle, followed by Londoners and the east of the country. Yorkshire and the North West complete the list of top five regions.

The figures also show that car buyers in East Yorkshire are least likely to choose an ultra-low emission option.

Most popular ultra-low emissions vehicles

1. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
2. Nissan LEAF
3. BMW i3
4. Renault ZOE
5. BMW i8

Regions where ultra-low emissions vehicles are most popular

1. South
2. London
3. East
4. West Midlands
5. North West

Regions where ultra-low emissions vehicles are least popular

1. East Yorkshire / Lincolnshire
2. Northern Ireland
3. West
4. South East
5. East Midlands