Almost half a million cars were registered last month, with fleet and business registrations responsible for more than half the new car market, up almost 15% on September, 2014.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 234,709 cars were registered to fleet and business, compared to 204,695 units a year ago.
Year-to-date, fleet and business registrations have now broken the one million mark, with 1,117,292 units registered – 11.5% higher than at the same point last year.
Overall, it was the 43rd consecutive month of growth in the market, while the total number of cars registered in 2015 so far is 2,096,886 – 7.1% higher than at the same point last year. It is the first time that the two million mark has been passed in September since 2004.
Gains were made across all market sectors – private, fleet and business – while petrol, diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles all saw increased demand.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "September is traditionally one of the year’s biggest months for new car registrations, and last month set an autumn record.
“Britain’s car buyers – whether private, fleet or business consumers – were busier than ever. The market reached pre-recession levels some time ago, and we anticipate some levelling off in the coming months. It is too early to draw conclusions, but customer demand for diesel remained strong, accounting for one in two cars registered.”
In line with typical performance so far this year, registrations of diesel and petrol cars in September grew 4.1% and 12.3% respectively, and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) recorded another strong month with volumes up 21.7%. This puts total year-to-date growth at 3.1% for diesel, 9.5% for petrol and 48.7% for AFVs.