New car registrations increased by 12.1% in October to 151,252 units.
According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) the UK continues to buck the trend in Europe with growth in all but one month of 2012 so far.
The UK new car market has increased by 5% over the year-to-date at 1,771,861 units. This represents an increase of 83,823 units on a year ago. The year-to-date performance is still some 16% or 335,000 units below the 2007, pre-recession volume.
Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: "Despite uncertainty in the European economy, the UK new car market continues to grow.
"It is encouraging to see the alternatively-fuelled vehicle market performing strongly, up 13% so far this year.
Although the alternatively-fuelled vehicle sector represents only a small share of the overall market, it is vital that government sustains its consumer incentive programme and maximises the benefits available through the vehicle taxation system."
The SMMT recently revised up its full year 2012 forecast to 2.013 million units from 1.97 million forecast in July and 1.92 million at the start of the year. The market is forecast to be stable in 2013 at 2.015 million units.
While growth in the UK is a good thing, dealers have told AM that with the UK being held as a market for growth, surplus car production in Europe will mean more pressure on targets.
The SMMT believes the growth this year is from genuine private demand, while fleet demand as sustained the volumes recovered in 2011.
Demand for small cars has risen rapidly, in part due to new models. The mini segment has grown by 52.0% over the year-to-date and the supermini segment by 5.8% or over 35,000 units.
Collectively these two segments account for close to 40% of the market.
The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling new car in October and the year-to-date.
Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said: "Retail car sales continue to drive the market in October while fleet sales remain flat.
“Retail customers are now committing to buying cars often helped by the competitive offers made available by the manufacturer. In particular, Personal Contract Purchase plans are helping to boost sales as they offer a low cost finance option to many consumers.
“Smaller cars and AFVs continue to sell well indicating consumers are now looking for a more economically and environmentally friendly vehicle that offers better fuel economy and cheaper maintenance.”