Car dealers sold only 200 more cars in January this year than a year ago, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed on Monday.

That took new car registrations to 128,853 units, in what the SMMT said was a welcome sign of stability in uncertain economic times.

The figures underline consumers' reluctance to splash out on major purchases amid fears the economy could dip back into recession.

But the SMMT noted that January is traditionally a quiet period for car dealers, account for just 7 percent of annual sales.

(Reporting by Fiona Shaikh)