The European Union car market showed signs of recovery for the second month running in October when sales rose by 4.7 percent, trade data showed on Tuesday.
This was the biggest increase since September 2011 and meant that in the month slightly more than a million new vehicles were registered in the 27 countries of the European Union, excluding Malta.
The data from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association showed a second monthly increase after a rise of 5.4 percent in September, on a 12-month comparison.
Most of the big car makers active in Europe benefited from the rise of sales in October.
However, the data showed that in the first 10 months of the year, sales of new cars in the European Union fell by 3.1 percent by comparison with sales in the same period of last year. A total of slightly fewer than 10 million cars were registered.
Sales over 10 months were driven mainly by a 10.2-percent rise in Britain, where the Bank of England said last week that economic recovery was now firmly in place, and with help from a 1.1-percent rise in Spain.
But sales fell by 5.2 percent in Germany, by 7.4 percent in France and by 8.0 percent in Italy.
Recent growth data for the eurozone shows that recovery in the zone, which recently emerged from recession, is still unsteady.
Sales by the biggest European auto maker, Volkswagen of Germany, rose by 5.8 percent in October.
But French group PSA Peugeot Citroen, the second-biggest European auto maker which is restructuring to recover from deep financial problems, suffered another setback with sales falling 0.9 percent in the month.
Sales by French group Renault increased by 14.8 percent with sales under the Renault brand rising 14.1 percent and under its low-cost Dacia brand 16.8 percent.
Sales by the Italian car maker Fiat fell by 7.3 percent.
The US group General Motors, which has an alliance with Peugeot, raised sales by 6.5 percent and Ford increased its sales by 0.8 percent.
Sales in leading national European markets rose, except in Italy where they fell by 5.6 percent from the figure for October last year.
In Spain where the government is renewing a bonus scheme for the scrapping of old cars, they jumped by 34.4 percent, in Germany by 2.3 percent, in France 2.6 percent and in Britain by 4.0 percent.