New Zealand new vehicle sales rose to a 32-year high in August, with continued monthly gains signalling a new record is likely to be set this year.

Registrations of new vehicles rose 13 percent to 12,677 in August from the year-earlier month, the highest level for the month since 1984, according to the Motor Industry Association.

Motor vehicle registrations in the first eight months of this year are 7.1 percent ahead of the same period last year at 93,381. That suggests vehicle sales may be headed for a third straight annual record this year, as the economy is buoyed by low interest rates and record migration and tourism.

"Economic indicators remain the same as for recent months, with the strongest net immigration on record, a healthy tourism sector and a generally robust economy, all of which continues to drive sales of new vehicles year to date beyond that expected for 2016," MIA chief executive David Crawford said in a statement.

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Commercial vehicle registrations rose 10 percent to 3,781, the highest ever recorded for an August month, while passenger vehicle registrations gained 15 percent to 8,896, the highest level for the month since 1984, according to the MIA data.

Japanese car maker Toyota was the overall market leader for the month, with an 18 percent market share, followed by Ford with 12 percent and Holden with 8 percent, the MIA said.