By Daniel Hunter

Sales of new cars in the UK in the year so far have hit two million for the first time since 2007, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

New car registrations jumped 14.2% in October to 179,714 units, marking the 32nd consecutive month of growth.

It brings the total number of new cars registered in 2014 to 2,137,910 - the first time it has reached two million for seven years.

The demand for new cars exceeded expectations in October, the SMMT said. But it expects growth to stabilise in the coming months.

There was also a rise in demand for alternatively fuelled cars, with new registrations up 50% on a monthly and annual basis.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The October new car market outperformed expectations, with registrations showing the strongest growth in a month since March’s 18% rise. With economic confidence still rising, customers continue to benefit from attractive financial packages on exciting new models.

“We still expect the overall market to level off as we head towards 2015, but the exception to that rule will be alternatively-fuelled vehicles, demand for which will continue to accelerate.”

Commenting on the figures, Chris Sutton, Managing Director of motor finance provider Black Horse, said: “As we witness another month of positive car sales it’s a question more of when will this good news story end? As we enter the final quarter of 2014 consumers will be anticipating new models in the new year and may well be considering upgrading or part exchanging their current car so this continued growth trajectory may continue but more than likely at a slower pace than we have previously seen. Alongside this we should see manufacturers and finance providers continuing to work hard to offer affordable and competitive finance options to consumers so all in all we should anticipate continued good performance till the end of the year and a promising start to next year."

The growing demand for alternatively fuelled cars was further evidenced by figures reported by Tesla, the car manufacturer that specialises in only electric cars.

Tesla sales of its Model S car grew by 41% in the July-September quarter to a new record of 7,785.

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