New car sales increased by 11.5 per cent last month, official figures showed.
There were a total of 143,643 new registrations in January 2013 - an 11.5 per cent rise on the January 2012 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
The good start to the year was mainly a result of a near 16 per cent increase in private sales, while there was a rise of nearly 8 per cent in alternatively-fuelled car sales.
SMMT interim chief executive Mike Baunton said: "The new car market has started the year confidently.
"Lifted by a solid rise in private demand, the market posted its 11th successive month of growth with motorists attracted to forecourts by the latest models and competitive deals on offer."
He went on: "Building on a strong performance in 2012, SMMT has increased its market forecast.
"We anticipate a modest rise (of 0.6 per cent) over the year, followed by further growth (of 2.6 per cent) in 2014."
The best-selling models in January 2013 were:
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Ford Focus
3. Vauxhall Astra
4. Vauxhall Corsa
5. Nissan Qashqai
6. Volkswagen Golf
7. Peugeot 208
8. Volkswagen Polo
9. Nissan Juke
10. Mercedes-Benz C-Class