Faster-than-expected first half-year growth has prompted an upward revision in the 2014 new car market forecast to 2.45 million registrations, up 8.1% on 2013.
July was the 29th consecutive month of growth, with 172,907 new cars registered, a rise of 6.6%, with more than half (55.6%) registered to fleet and business.
It means that 1,460,172 cars have now been registered since the start of the year – an increase of 10.1% - and at 759,794 units, fleet accounts for more 52% of new car registrations, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "The continued positivity has led to an uplift in the SMMT full year forecast to 2.45 million passenger car registrations, a rise of 8.1%.
“However, the more moderate growth of the last three months shows that overall demand is beginning to stabilise."
David Raistrick, UK Automotive leader at Deloitte said: “It will be interesting to see whether the major September registration month will continue to show strong growth.
"I expect overall growth levels will start to stabilise in the final part of the year; a slowdown that will largely be driven by the increasing numbers of nearly-new used vehicles returning to the market.”