New car registrations in the UK in August, traditionally a slow month to the pending 'year identifier' registration plate change on 1 September, nonetheless rose 9.6% year on year to 79,060 units, as the market saw its 42nd consecutive month of growth.

Year to date, new car registrations rose 6.7% to 1,634,369 units.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said gains were made across all sectors and all fuel types with registrations in the private, business and fleet markets up 7.2%, 11.8% and 12.1% respectively. The market for alternatively-fuelled vehicles, meanwhile, grew 52.3% year on year, maintaining a steady 2.4% share of the overall market.

Chief executive Mike Hawes said: "August’s strong performance has again been driven by attractive finance deals and a diverse range of technologically advanced models. Britain’s budget-conscious buyers are taking advantage of low regular monthly payments that provide certainty and affordability.‎ With September's new 65-plate now in full swing, we expect UK showrooms to be as busy as ever."

David Raistrick, UK manufacturing leader at Deloitte said: "In a traditionally quiet month, the growth achieved in August is ahead of expectations. Indeed, August registrations have now exceeded the levels achieved in 2007 (77,000). This level has not been reached in the intervening years, even with the assistance of the government scrappage scheme in 2009.

"Turning to the September numbers, which will include the new 65 number plate registrations, 2014 showed a phenomenal 425,000 vehicles registered. With such a strong August, manufacturers and retailers will be anticipating good sales figures in September. Expectations are high that the number of deals on offer will positively influence the retail market. However, with signs of growth slowing in both the service and manufacturing sectors, last year’s September numbers will be a hard target to beat.

"With a flat European and global new car market, manufacturers will be keen to ensure that the September new plate opportunity is maximised. At the current rate of growth being achieved, full year sales look on track to reach between 2.55m and 2.6m. That’s even if there is a quieter last quarter to the year."

Source: The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)