The number of new cars sold in the UK reached an all-time high in 2015, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The industry body said 2.63 million new cars were sold, up 6% on 2014 and beating the previous record of 2.58 million set in 2003. It marked the fourth consecutive year of growth.

The SMMT also said early estimates show that there were 180,000 sales in December, which would make it the strongest ever December.

Low financing costs, more dealership offers and stronger consumer confidence helped the market to record figures. It also comes despite a huge fall in Volkswagen sales. The German manufacturer, which accounts for roughly 20% of all new car sales in the UK, saw a sharp decline in demand for its vehicles after it admitted cheating emissions tests using a device on more than 11 million of its cars.