New car registrations shot up by over 8% in September, according to automotive industry figures, as the latest number plates are released.
Registrations beat expectations to increase by 8.2% when compared with last year - to over 350,000 units - according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
But the organisation stressed that, given the ongoing economic uncertainty, the growth is likely to be "market specific" - driven by showroom offers and the availability of new models.
In the year to date, over 1.6 million cars were registered - an increase of 4.3%, the SMMT added.
It means that so far this year, sales of new cars have risen in every month except one.
But the numbers remain well below pre-recession levels - in 2007, there were 1.94 million new car registrations in the first nine months of the year.
September is usually the second busiest month of the year for new car sales as the latest number plates are released.
In the UK, plates beginning with 62 were released on the first of this month.
"The important September plate change market outperformed expectations," Paul Everitt, SMMT's chief executive, said.
"Although the economic outlook remains challenging, we are starting to see a tentative return of consumer confidence as motorists explore new products and the latest fuel-efficient technologies."
The five bestselling cars in September were Ford's Fiesta and Focus, Vauxhall's Corsa and Astra and Volkswagen's golf.