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.
Alternatively fuelled vehicles, including electric cars, remained static with regards to market share, however, at 1.4 per cent.
According to the statistics, an additional 600 cars were reputedly registered per day in 2013, compared to 2012.
December proved a particularly successful month for Audi, with its sales growing from 4786 cars in December 2012 to 7442 in December 2013, a rise of 55.5 per cent. Renault performed well too, with its sales climbing by 43.91 per cent from 3733 cars to 5372.
Success was also seen by Skoda, its sales escalating from 3199 cars in December last year to 5286 cars this year, a hike of 65.24 per cent. Volkswagen noted significant increases in sales in December too, up from 9,651 registrations to 13,725 - a leap of 42.21 per cent.
Year-on-year, manufacturers that have performed particularly well include Lotus, selling 256 cars compared to 137, a rise of 86.86 per cent.
The SMMT currently expects new car registrations to remain level in 2014, due to buyers returning to more conventional and regular renewal intervals for their car, although a growth of 1 per cent over the year is forecast.
UK's best-selling cars in 2013
1. Ford Fiesta 121,929
2. Ford Focus 87,350
3. Vauxhall Corsa 84,275