New UK car sales in 2013 were the best for five years beating industry forecasts.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 2.26 million new cars were registered – up 10.8 per cent on 2012.
This is the highest total since 2007 and follows 22 consecutive months of growth. December 2013 showed a 23.8 per cent increase alone.
It cements the UK as the second largest European car market – just behind Germany.
Attractive financial offers and a demand for increased car technology on new cars could be behind the impressive 2013 performance, according to the SMMT.
The statistics reveal the Ford Fiesta as the best selling car of 2013 with 121,929 registrations.
This highlights how the supermini segment of the market was the most popular amongst buyers, taking a 35.9 per cent market share.
Drivers also started to favour hybrids and plug-in cars - sales of these were up 20.5 per cent from 2012.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said the UK car market was finally recovering from the recession while 2014 would be a year for stability with just a one per cent growth forecast.
“While the European market is only now showing signs of improvement, the UK has consistently outperformed the rest of Europe with 22 consecutive months of growth,” he said. “We expect new car registrations to remain stable in 2014 as customers return to a more regular replacement cycle.”