New car sales in Britain continued to rise with the growth in September, hitting a record high in over five years, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) on Friday. The SMMT said the new car registrations in September surged 12.1 percent to reach 403,136 units, as boosted by strong private demand, which rose 16.7 percent year on year in the month, helping overall market rise by 10.8 percent. Private demand accounted for 51.8 percent of the total sales in September to hit 208,844 units. \"The September new car registrations figure was the highest monthly total since March 2008. With over 400,000 new cars registered for the first time in over five years, the British market is reflecting growing economic confidence,\" said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. \"Robust private demand has played a major role in this growth with customers attracted by exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient new models which offer savings in the cost of ownership. \"This is the 19th consecutive month of steady growth and, with fleet and business demand still to reach pre-recession levels, we believe the performance to be sustainable. The latest 63-plate should deliver success into next year,\" said Hawes. According to the SMMT figures, total sales of new cars in Britain were 1.79 million units in the January-September period, rising 10.8 percent over the same period of last year, of which 869,421 units were sold to private buyers, up 16.7 percent. The best sellers in September were Fiesta, Corsa, Focus, Golf and Astra. The SMMT said that the growth of new car registration reflected buyers coming back to market after past period of hold-off and post the Scrappage scheme. \"Enticing deals, incentives and financing packages have fuelled demand. Whilst new models not only offer latest styles and utility packages but also enhanced fuel efficiency, which helps to minimize running costs,\" it said.