More than three million new vehicles were registered in Great Britain during 2015, the highest figure in a decade.
According to DfT stats, 3.21m new vehicles were registered, up 8% on the previous year, and only 1% lower than the highest ever number in 2003.
There was also an increase in the number of new ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) registered. 29,963 ULEVs were registered, representing 0.9% of all new registrations, a year-on-year increase of 0.4%.
The Government says that overall number of licensed vehicles and number of new vehicles registered is influenced by the general economic climate in Britain and further afield.
81% of the new registrations were cars, 11.7% were vans (light goods), 3.8% motorcycles and 1.5% heavy goods
At the end of 2015 there were 36.5m vehicles licensed for use on the roads in Great Britain, of which 30.3m were cars.
The number of licensed cars increased by 2.2% year-on-year, van numbers were up 4.7% over the same period and the number of motorcycles rose by 1.2%.
The RAC has welcomed the uplift in ULEV registrations.
Simon Williams, RAC spokesman, said: “It is good to see uptake of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) is increasing with a near-doubling of registrations in 12 months.
“ULEVs might still make up a very small proportion of overall new registrations – just under 1% – but this is 0.4% up year-on-year and is a clear indication of just how important this growing segment of the market is.
“While the Government’s plug-in grant scheme has been extended to 2018, the fact is one of the incentives for ‘going ultra low’ will actually be reduced from next year.
“Changes to Vehicle Excise Duty bands from 2017 will mean ULEVs will pay the same in duty after the first year of registration as the vast majority of other vehicles which have far greater CO2 emissions. We hope this change does not undermine the progress made in encouraging people to switch to cleaner, more efficient vehicles.”