Car sales at five-year high

The new car market recorded its best performance in five years in 2013, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 2,264,737 cars were registered in 2013, up 10.8% on 2012 and exceeding SMMT's 2.25 million forecast for the year. This was the highest annual registration total since 2007 as December saw the 22nd consecutive monthly rise. This secured the UK's place as Europe's second largest car market, the only one to grow consistently throughout 2013, said the SMMT. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "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."