72,163 new cars were registered in August 2014, a 9.4% rise on August 2013 and the 30th consecutive month of growth reveal the SMMT.

Year-to-date registrations have passed 1.5 million units, up 10.1% – with some levelling off expected in  the coming months, whilst private and fleet registrations both displayed similar increases in the month, with the former making the greater gains in the year-to-date.

August is one of the year’s quietest months for new car registrations, typically accounting for around 3% of the annual market. In comparison, September usually makes up around 18% of the year’s registrations.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “New car registrations reached two-and-a-half years of consecutive monthly growth in August, as confident private and fleet consumers continued to snap up enticing deals on a wealth of advanced new products.

“The UK’s performance in the context of Europe is particularly impressive, with growth consistently ahead of the rest of the EU for the past two years. As the UK market starts to find its natural level, we expect to see the growth level off during coming months.”

Increasing consumer confidence has been evident across the market, with strong growth in private, fleet and business sectors. However, the greatest surge has been in private registrations, which have grown from around 840,000 units in the year before March 2012 to 1.15 million cars in the past 12 months.

The best sellers in August were:

1. Ford Fiesta

2. Ford Focus

3. Vauxhall Corsa

4. Volkswagen Golf

5. Vauxhall Astra

6. Audi A3

7. Volkswagen Polo

8. Fiat 500

9. Vauxhall Insignia

10. Nissan Qashqai