Registrations jumped 9.3 per cent last month to 143,884 vehicles, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – the sharpest increase of any month in 2012 so far.
For the year as a whole, new car registrations are up 3.5 per cent to more than 1.2m, despite business purchases falling 15.7 per cent.
“This is a surprising result, particularly given that it is the UK consumer who is powering this recovery,” said John Leech, a partner in KPMG’s automotive practice.
“Although consumer confidence in the UK remains at a low level, carmakers are offering a higher than normal release of new models and large discounts to consumers.”
Registrations of Porsches rose more than 41 per cent in July compared to the same month a year earlier, and are up by over 34 per cent annualised for 2012 so far.
Total car registrations remain down on pre-crisis peaks, however.