LONDON -- UK registrations increased by 23 percent in August to 94,094 as automakers reduced vehicle stocks ahead of the new WLTP testing regime, which went into force on Sept. 1.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) welcomed the monthly result, but was cautious on future growth.
"August is always a small month in new-car registrations ahead of the important plate-change month of September, it would be wrong to view the market as booming," SMMT CEO Mikes Hawes said.
Volkswagen was the UK's top-selling brand in August with a 63 percent sales rise, followed by Ford, which posted a 21 percent jump. Third-placed Audi's volume jumped 20 percent, ahead of luxury rival, BMW, whose sales rose 30 percent. Registrations at No. 5 Vauxhall fell 24 percent, while Mercedes-Benz brand gained 2.7 percent.
• Download file, above right, for August UK sales by brand
Monthly sales winners also included Suzuki, whose registrations rose 146 percent, Jaguar, which gained 120 percent, Seat with 62 percent, Peugeot with 52 percent growth and Land Rover, whose volume increased 46 percent.
Toyota sales rose 32 percent, Mini brand sales were up 23 percent and Renault's volume increased 1 percent.
Nissan's registrations were down 33 percent, Fiat sales dropped 14 percent and Skoda's volume declined 5 percent.
Gasoline, EV sales benefit
August sales were also boosted by higher demand for full-electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles, whose sales increased by 89 percent to give the segment a record 8 percent market share, up from 5.4 percent in August 2017.
Diesel sales fell 7.7. percent for a 29.7 percent market share while gasoline-car sales increased by 39 percent for a 62.3 market share.
Through August, the overall market fell 4.1 percent to 1.57 million.
Reuters contributed to this report