The UK car market has exceeded expectations for the year, with a total of 2.265 million cars being registered compared to a forecasted 2.25 million.
"With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK new car market has helped stimulate the country's economic recovery,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
December marked the 22nd consecutive monthly rise in new car sales, while 2013 resulted in the highest annual total number of registrations since 2007.
“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. 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."
The market share for diesel fell slightly, from 50.8 per cent in 2012 to 49.8 per cent in 2013, as petrol alternatives continued to become more efficient. Consequently the market share for petrol-engined cars grew from 47.8 per cent in 2012 to 48.8 per cent in 2013.