Led by double-digit increases in the region's five largest markets, Europe's new-car registrations rose 11 percent to 1,263,305 in October.
The U.K. had the biggest sales rise, by percent, in Europe but Germany outsold the U.K. in the month. Last month's U.K. registrations were up 32 percent to 168,942, while German sales jumped 24 percent to 321,120, according to figures from the European automakers association, ACEA.
Spain gained 26 percent to 98,202 units; France increased 20 percent to 210,424; and Italy rose 16 percent to 195,545 in October.
All five countries have supported automakers by offering car buyers thousands of euros in government-funded incentives to trade in their old cars for newer, more fuel-efficient models.
New-car sales in central and eastern European countries that have not offered scrapping or other types of incentives have been hit hard by the recession. October registrations were down by 60 percent or more in Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, where just 218 cars were sold all month, according to ACEA's figures
Through 10 months, overall European registrations were down 5 percent to 12,206,381. The only countries to report increased sales during the first 10 months of the year were Germany (+26%), Slovakia (+14%), the Czech Republic (+8%), Austria (+6%), France (+4%) and Poland (+1%).