New car registrations rose by 87.3% year-on-year to 1,062,446 vehicles in the European Union, figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) showed.
Italy, the first country to lock down in Europe last year, posted the biggest increase of 497%, followed by France on 192% and Spain on 128%, while Germany saw sales rise 36%.
Sales at Volkswagen and Stellantis to the EU, Britain and the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), rose by 46% and 140% respectively, while Renault reported a rise of 70%.
Luxury automakers also saw sales jump in March, with BMW reporting a rise of 43% and rival Daimler reporting a 11% rise.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Maria Sheahan)