New UK car sales hit a 10-year high in 2014, boosted by confidence in the economic recovery, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said.
In total, 2.47 million new cars were registered last year, up 9% on 2013 and the best annual performance since 2004.
Sales rose each month last year, with December’s rise representing the 34th consecutive monthly jump.
The SMMT said the strong performance reflected the release of pent-up demand from the recession years.
Car sales were badly hit by the economic downturn which started in 2008, with new registrations dipping below two million in both 2009 and 2011.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the robust performance meant UK new car registrations were now back at pre-recession levels, with only the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 seeing more registrations than last year.
“We expect a more stable 2015 as demand levels off,” he added.
The numbers mean the UK retained its ranking as the second largest market in the EU for new car sales, after Germany.
Sales of electric cars saw the biggest growth last year, with sales quadrupling to 14,498 from 3,586 in 2013.
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