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WARSAW, April 5 (Reuters) - New car registrations in Poland jumped 24.6 percent last month from a year earlier to their highest in 17 years, data from the Samar research institute showed on Wednesday.
New registrations totalled 55,526 in March, the most since December 1999 and up 28.9 percent from February, the privately-run institute said.
"Institutional clients are currently the driving force of registrations," Samar said in a statement, adding individuals were predominantly buying used cars.
Samar estimated about 9.5 percent of the cars were exported out of Poland shortly after their registration in March.
Registrations have now risen in annual terms for 24 consecutive months and have been growing at double-digit percentage rates since November.
Poland's $450 billion economy grew at its fastest quarterly pace in a decade at the end of 2016, underpinned by record low unemployment, a new child benefit and signs the flow of European Union aid has accelerated after a sharp contraction.
Top-selling car models in Poland this year have been the Skoda Fabia and Skoda Octavia, produced by Skoda, the Czech subsidiary of Volkswagen.
These models were followed by the Opel Astra, produced by Germany's Opel AG, and the Toyota Yaris. (Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Mark Potter)