By Will Roberts
New car sales raced to a six-year high in 2013, the motor industry has announced.
A total of 2,264,737 new cars were registered in 2013 - a 10.8 per cent rise on the 2012 figure the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
This is the best annual total since the pre-recession year of 2007.
More than 150,000 car sales in December
The 2013 total was boosted by a 23.8 per cent rise, to nearly 153,000, in sales in December - the 22nd successive month of increases.
On average, an additional 600 extra cars were registered per day in 2013 than in 2012.
Private sales made up 1.07 million of the registrations last year - a rise of 15.6 per cent on the 2012 share.
Both petrol and diesel-engined vehicle sales rose in 2013, but petrol's share of the market grew slightly - from 47.8 per cent in 2012 to 48.8 per cent in 2013.
Diesel's market share decreases
Meanwhile diesel's share dipped from 50.8 per cent in 2012 to 49.8 per cent in 2013.
The share of the market by alternatively-fuelled vehicles remained flat 1.4 per cent.
The supermini sector was the largest last year, accounting for nearly 36 per cent of all sales.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK new car market has helped stimulate the country's economic recovery.
"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."
Increased demand for high-tech new cars
He added: "The 10.8 per cent increase in 2013 reflects the attractive financial offers available, as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced new cars.
"We expect new car registrations to remain stable in 2014 as customers return to a more regular replacement cycle."
The best-selling models in 2013 were:
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Ford Focus
3. Vauxhall Corsa
4. Vauxhall Astra
5. Volkswagen Golf
6. Nissan Qashqai
7. BMW 3 Series
8. Volkswagen Polo
9. BMW 1 Series
10. Peugeot 208