- Diesel cars took a record 50.8% market share, with sales of just over a million compared with 978,000 petrol vehicles.
- Sales of alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric, increased by 9.4% to almost 28,000, a market share of 1.4%, a new high.
Private sales of new cars increased from 823,000 to 929,000, fleet sales increased by 0.6% to just over a million, while business sales fell by 9.5% to just under 90,000.The SMMT said 2013 would be "challenging", but it expects performance to be on a par with 2012.
More top news
Greater Manchester Police's chief constable revealed the offences that drew attention to the future Manchester suicide bomber as a teenager.
Thousands of Beko tumble dryers could pose a fire risk through an overheating fault, the manufacturer has warned.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was unable to provide the cost of his party's key manifesto plans on free child care.