The average new car now achieves 52.5 mpg , according to figures for November from the SMMT.
Also, diesel and alternatively-fuelled cars both took record market shares in November.
The average new car fuel efficiency has improved 29.3% in the last 10 years, giving the highest ever mpg.
Supported by the fleet market and consumers investing in the industry’s most efficient products, diesel cars achieved a record 55.6% share of the market in November, compared to 42.8% for petrol, whilst alternatively-fuelled cars took a record 1.6% market share.
The Ford Fiesta remained the best selling model in both November and over the year-to-date.
Private purchase accounted for 40.5% of cars bought, compared to 55.7% for fleet purchases.
“While the November new car market saw a 4.2% dip, the fuel efficiency of new models broke all records with the average new car achieving 52.5 mpg,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.
“Despite the Chancellor delaying the 3p rise in fuel duty, our cost of fuel is still among the highest in Europe, so customers are sure to welcome the 29.3% improvement in new car fuel efficiency over the last 10 years, a demonstration of industry’s commitment to delivering good value to motorists.”
New car registrations were just 0.9% lower than a year ago in the last three months, and volumes over the past six months were also only down a modest 1.8%. However, the market continues to trend some 20% below pre-recession levels.
Market stability in recent months is at odds with growing concerns over the economic setting. Whilst the Autumn Statement announced some welcome measures to stimulate growth, the latest forecasts for the UK economy and concerns over the Eurozone are unsettling.
The market continues to be supported by growth in the fleet market and customer incentives.
SMMT’s full year 2011 forecast, as set in September, was 1.923 million units. The market looks set to better this, ending close to 1.94 million units, after the market has once again exceeded expectations last month.