Motorists returning to car showrooms after lockdown ended drove the first rise in sales of new vehicles this year, with an 11.3pc rise in registrations last month.
Almost 175,000 new cars were purchased in July following a near-total collapse in the market over the previous months as coronavirus put a brake on transactions.
The rise came in the first full month of dealerships being open. Although dealers in England were allowed to reopen their doors from June 1, it was not until later in the month that Scotland and Wales eased lockdown restrictions.
July’s rise is compared with the same month a year ago and follows declines in March, April, May and June of 44.4pc, 97.3pc, 89pc and 34.9pc respectively.
Production of cars in the UK has also fallen to its lowest level since 1954.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) that collated the