A record number of vehicles were registered last year, up nearly 7000 to 134,000.
Motor Industry Association David Crawford said commercial registrations went up by 6.6 percent to about 29,000 and passenger vehicle registrations by about 5 percent to nearly 95,000.
Toyota was easily the most popular make for the 28th consecutive year, with 20 percent of market share, followed by Holden with 10 percent.
Ford was the top make for the commercial market.
Mr Crawford said breaking the record was exciting.
"The economic indicators a year ago were good but they're not quite aligned in the right way at the moment," he said.
"There's been some signs both here and abroad that the economy is weaker now so we think the car sales won't be as strong this year."
About a third of the vehicles registered were SUVs, Mr Crawford said.
"It's the practicality, people like them, they're a little bit higher up, they're versatile, they're bigger and there is more ground clearance, also better visibility and they're seen by many as a safer vehcle to drive," he said.