British new car sales rose by 2.6 percent on the year in October to 134,944 units, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said on Friday.

The SMMT said car registrations in the year to date were down 4.5 percent on the year at 1,688,038 units, but that it was on track to achieve a full-year total of 1.923 million.

October's rise came as sales of fleet and business cars rose, but sales of cars to private customers fell.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said October's rise was a positive result given the uncertain economic climate.

We expect market conditions to remain challenging and hope the Chancellor (George Osborne's) Autumn Statement later this month will help to boost economic growth and consumer confidence.

(Reporting by Fiona Shaikh)