Local residents registered more vehicles in 2012 than in each of the past two years, and local car dealers said they continued to sell more vehicles.
First-time vehicle registrations, which include any new or used vehicles registered by an owner for the first time, increased to 6,500 in 2012. The total was nearly 3 percent more than in 2011 and the highest since 2009, according to statistics from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Local car dealerships also had an increase in sales last year, as concerns about the economy have faded, dealership managers said.
But one car dealer said he was still struggling to get potential car buyers approved for a loan because lenders now have more restrictions.
High-end car sales, including Infiniti and BMW, at Dreyer and Reinbold in Greenwood were the highest since 2007, even with the dealership completing a showroom remodel in 2012, new car manager Chad Spidle said.