New car registrations in the UK rose for a fourth successive month with a 3.5% rise in June to 189,514 units.

Registrations over the first half of the year increased 2.7% to 1,057,680 units.

Private demand recovered in the first half of 2012, up 8.7% with June continuing the trend, up 9.8%.

Technological gains helped average new car CO2 emissions fall 4% to 134.1g/km in first half of 2012.

"Driven by demand from private buyers, June new car registrations grew 3.5% to push 2012 half year volumes through the 1m mark," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"Despite domestic and international economic concerns, UK motorists are responding positively to new products and the latest fuel-efficient technology. The industry has performed better than expected in the first half of the year and we will now need to work hard to sustain growth."

  • The new car market rose 3.5% to 189,514 units in June. This was still some 15% below the 2007 outturn, prior to recession, but some 2.5% ahead of average June volumes for the previous three years.
  • Registrations in Q2 rose 4.8% and over the first half of the year have risen 2.7% to over 1m units.
  • The market was some 5% ahead of the SMMT forecast for Q2 (as set in April) with the annual running total at 1.97m units in June. The growth is encouraging, given the subdued economic setting and compares with the full year 2011 total of 1.94m units and a full year 2012 forecast of 1.95m units.
  • Private volumes rose 8.7% over the first half of the year and picked up in recent months, rising 9.8% in June. Fleet volumes are on par with last year, while business demand has fallen.
  • Alternatively-fuelled car registrations posted a 47.8% rise in June, while diesel volumes also rose, pushing their market share over the first half of the year up from 50% a year ago to 51.2%.
  • Improvements in new car fuel efficiency saw CO2 emissions fall to 134.1g/km over the first half of 2012, down 4% on a year ago and 2.9% compared with 2011's full year figure of 138.1g/km.
  • New models helped mini segment registrations rise 82.5% in June. The dual purpose and executive segments also posted double digit-growth in the month.
  • The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model in June and over the first half of 2012.