SALES of Mini cars have held steady despite a drop in the number of car sales across the UK.

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 68,166 new Minis were sold in 2017, compared to 68,984 in 2016, a 1.19 per cent drop.

Elsewhere sales of new cars dropped for the first time in six years, declining by 5.7% since 2016.

Fiat saw a 26 per cent drop whilst Jeep sales were down over 50 per cent. 

Diesel cars were down 17.1 per cent which industry experts said was a sign of 'confusion about the future' with concerns about air pollution and higher taxes.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "2017 has undoubtedly been a very volatile year and the lacklustre economic growth means that we expect a further weakening in the market for 2018.

"The upside for consumers, however, is some very, very competitive deals."