New car registrations for October have increased 32% compared with the same period last year.
The Government's scrappage scheme has been credited with being behind the boost in sales, although year-to-date registrations show car sales are down 12% on 2008 figures.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: 'October has had this year's biggest monthly increase in registrations, with the successful scrappage scheme accounting for over 20% of them.
'We have seen additional demand created by the extension of the scrappage scheme and customers wanting to avoid the VAT increase planned for January.
'Encouragingly, there has also been an increase in demand in the fleet and business sectors, which will be critical in sustaining recovery next year.'
A word of caution
However, a note of caution has been raised by Graham Bushby, head of motor business advisers Baker Tilly.
He said: 'The October 2009 registrations are skewed by the drag of registrations intended for September into October that couldn't be achieved due to a shortage of entry-level models.
The top 10 best-sellers in October
1 Ford Fiesta – 8812 cars sold
2 Vauxhall Astra – 7415
3 Ford Focus – 6668
4 Vauxhall Corsa – 6332
5 Volkwagen Golf – 4630
6 Peugeot 207 – 4397
7 Renault Clio – 3613
8 Hyundai i10 – 3230
9 Mini – 3120
10 Fiat 500 – 2989
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