Australians bought a seasonally adjusted total of 94,396 new cars in August, driving sales figures up 0.8% from July, and 0.2% year-on-year.
Westpac economists last week forecast a seasonally adjusted rise of 1.8% for the month.
Car sales rose in all states and territories besides Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Tasmania, with a 14.1% fall recorded in the latter state.
Sales of passenger vehicles and SUVs rose 2.1% and 2.9% during the month but sales of “other vehicles”, including buses, vans and trucks, fell 5.3%.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s proposed changes to fringe benefit tax laws were expected to drive down car sales but the proposal had little impact on figures in the lead up to the Federal Election this month.
Incoming prime minister Tony Abbott, who was tipped to win the election throughout August, oppposed Rudd’s FBT changes.