New car registrations reached 162,228 in July 2013, a 12.7% increase over the same month in 2012, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

New car registrations for the 12 months to the end of July increased 10.3% compared to the same period last year at 1,325,851, with strong sales performances from the private, fleet and business market sectors.

July 2013 is the 17th consecutive monthly increase in new vehicle registrations in the UK.

Strong demand

Private new car registrations from January to July 2013 have shown an increase of 16.4% from the same period last year, but the fleet sector is still the largest market, with a total of 639,323 new registrations.

The strong increase in demand year-to-date for 2013 has led the SMMT to revise their 2013 forecast.

Mike Baunton, SMMT interim chief executive, said: "Strong business and consumer confidence in July saw the new car market continue to rise, posting double-digit growth in the month. Now we have evidence of consistent growth, we have raised our forecast for 2013 new car registrations to 2.216 million units, an increase of over 8% on last year".