UK new car registrations rose to a record 195,637 in July, 13.1% up year-on-year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said today.

The SMMT statement said it now expected over 2.5 million new registrations during 2002, because the seven-month total had already passed 1.5 million in July.

The July rise followed a 3.7 percent year-on-year fall in June, ending an outstanding 20 months of consecutive growth.