April 21 (Reuters) - Lithia Motors Inc posted a jump in quarterly profit of more than three times as the U.S. auto retailer benefited from strong demand and higher vehicle prices.

Net income was $156.2 million, or $5.81 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with $46.2 million, or $1.97 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue surged 55% to $4.34 billion. (Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)