Britain's car market grew at its fastest rate in 11 years throughout 2012, according to the SMMT car industry body.

The increase in new car registrations by 5.3 per cent to just over 2 million presents the highest level since the financial crisis hit in 2008.

UK manufacturing has been in general decline, but the car industry's performance has bucked the trend in recent months. The best-selling cars in the UK were Ford's Fiesta and Focus, and Vauxhall's Corsa and Astra.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement, "Looking ahead to 2013, we anticipate the market will hold firm, with manufacturers and dealers working hard to deliver quality and value to motorists."

Despite the improving performance, the new car market was still 14.9 percent below its pre-recession level of 2.4 million units in 2007.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner