In August, 72,163 new cars were registered, a 9.4% rise on August 2013 and the 30th consecutive month of growth.
Year-to-date registrations passed 1.5m units, up 10.1%, with some levelling off expected in coming months.
Private and fleet registrations are displaying similar increases in the month, with the former making the greater gains in the year-to-date.
August is one of the year’s quietest months for new car registrations, typically accounting for around 3% of the annual market. In comparison, September usually makes up around 18% of the year’s registrations.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “New car registrations reached two-and-a-half years of consecutive monthly growth in August, as confident private and fleet consumers continued to snap up enticing deals on a wealth of advanced new products.
“The UK’s performance in the context of Europe is particularly impressive, with growth consistently ahead of the rest of the EU for the past two years. As the UK market starts to find its natural level, we expect to see the growth level off during coming months.”