New cars
Britons continue to buy brand new cars, October's registration figures reveal.

UK car sales were 12.1 per cent up in October, and the month saw 151,252 new cars were registered – five per cent up year to date.

The highest performing car last month was the Ford Fiesta - achieving 8,056 sales, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa with 6,285. Next was the Focus with 5,834, and the Astra at 5,754.

While promising, the figures are still not back up to pre-recession levels - but do at least appear strong in the face of depressing European markets.

"The UK continues to lead the way in European new car sales, with the main continent's decline triggering unease in global automotive manufacturers," said Deloitte's David Raistrick.

"On the one hand, a number of major UK dealer groups have reported strong sales growth in 2012, but their counterparts in Europe are witnessing a decline."

Small cars are becoming increasingly common, too. The "mini" segment - housing cars like the Ford Ka and Fiat 500 - has grown 52 per cent year-to-date. Collectively, it and the "supermini" segment represented 40 per cent of the market.

Kia has done particularly well in the last month, beating their overall sales figure from 2010 before the year is even up - something perhaps driven by the firm's smaller Rio and Picanto models.

The society of motor manufacturers and traders' chief executive, Paul Everitt, said: "Despite uncertainty in the European economy, the UK new car market continues to grow, with registrations rising more than 12 per cent in October to 151,252 units."

Everitt also called for further investment in alternative fuel vehicles - despite the small market share it makes up.