New car registrations in the UK rose by 11 per cent (17,823 units) in May to 180,111 units, with fleet and business registrations accounting for 53.3 per cent of the market. May's growth in the new car market makes it 15 consecutive months of growth and the largest May volume in six years. Compared to May last year, fleet and business volumes were also up by 3.5 per cent (3,294 units), while registrations for the year-to-date were up by around 2.8 per cent to 488,095 units. Mike Baunton, interim chief executive of the SMMT, said: 'The performance of new car registrations in May marks a significant milestone for UK automotive, with cars registered by private buyers rising more than 20%, bettering pre-recession volumes posted in 2007. 'While it is clear that buying confidence among UK motorists is very strong, continued economic uncertainty abroad, particularly in the rest of Europe, will mean that manufacturers remain cautious about performance in the second half of 2013.î Private demand has also been most encouraging, with private registrations rising by 16.2 per cent over the first five months of the year and 20.9 per cent in May alone. Subsequently volumes have moved back above 2007 pre-recession levels. This level of growth can be attributed to a combination of factors, with consumers potentially returning to the new car market after delaying the replacement of road bikes; motorists replacing vehicles previously purchased under the Scrappage Incentive Scheme; motorists opting to switch to more efficient vehicles in every class; and a host of finance offers for buyers. After recovery from the recession-induced decline in new car sales, it seems a shift from used to new vehicles may indeed be occurring. Smaller petrol-fuelled cars continue to experience the strongest growth in 2013 with a 14 per cent increase in sales. The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model this month and in the year-to-date, with Ford's Focus and the Vauxhall Corsa following closely behind.