New car registrations hit a five-year high last year with 2,264,737 cars glistered in 2013, up 10.8% on 2012.

“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, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“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% increase in 2013 reflects the attractive financial offers available, as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced new cars. We expect new car registrations to remain stable in 2014 as customers return to a more regular replacement cycle.”

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said: “It is extremely encouraging to see that the car market is back performing at pre-recession level. “Car showrooms have reported increased sales activity and interest from consumers looking to replace their vehicles, which in some cases are part of the aging car park or not as fuel or energy efficient as modern vehicles.”

She added: “The NFDA expects the market to continue to perform well and to build on the success of 2013.”