New car registrations rose 7% in November to 159,581 units, the month’s best performance since 2004.
The UK has seen 2,111,819 new cars registered year-to-date, up 9.9% and already ahead of the 2012 full-year total of 2,044,609.
The SMMT said the car market is on target to hit its forecast of 2.25 million registrations for 2013.
Private registrations have risen 11.6%, whilst fleet sales increased by 3.4%.
"Motorists have bought more than two million cars so far in 2013, a tremendous success for the industry on the back of buoyant consumer confidence and innovative new products," said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
"With the UK economy looking increasingly positive, we can expect strong underlying demand for new cars to continue into 2014, with volumes set to match or surpass those seen this year."
At the National Franchised Dealers Association, director Sue Robinson said: “It is extremely encouraging to see that the new car market continued on its upward trend."
“Competitive pricing and strong incentives have driven new car sales in 2013. Dealers have reported increased footfall in showrooms throughout the year and this continued in to November.
“The NFDA expect the market to remain strong into the New Year as consumer confidence continues to grow as the UK economy continues to recover.”