The UK has overtaken France to become Europe's second-biggest car market following strong November and 11-month sales.
New-car sales in the UK increased 5.4 percent to 1.92 million vehicles through November, while volume in France dropped 13.8 percent to 1.73 million. Sales in Germany, Europe's No. 1 market, fell 2 percent to 2.88 million.
Private retail customers are driving the rise in sales in the UK, according to Paul Everitt, CEO of industry association SMMT.
The SMMT said demand for small cars showed above-average growth during the January to November period.
The Ford Fiesta has been Britain's top seller so far this year, but demand also has been high for the Ford Focus, which was the best-selling new car in November.
UK sales rose 11.3 percent to 149,191 in November. French sales fell 19.2 percent to 144,694. German deliveries dropped 3 percent to 260,000.