The most popular models bought in 2012 were:
- The Ford Fiesta more than 109,000 models
- The Vauxhall Corsa (89,434)
- Ford Focus (83,115)
- Vauxhall Astra (63,023)
Last year's healthy sales figures followed a 12.9% increase in private demand for new cars.
Despite the strong performance of the motor industry, the new car market was 14.9% below the pre-recession level of 2.4 million sales in 2007.
More top news
The anti-war President is now in combat in two Middle Eastern countries.
Prince Harry received a great big hug from four-year-old Carson Hartley.
The mother of "bucket list" cancer patient Stephen Sutton has said signs of her son's illness were "ignored".