Auto sales hit their highest monthly level since March 2008, at 14.94 million new vehicles sold on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, consultant Autodata Corp said on Tuesday.

Autodata said September sales rose 13 percent to 1,188,865 new vehicles.

The September annualized sales rate tops 14.52 million from August, the previous monthly high for this year. In 2011, U.S. auto sales were 12.8 million new vehicles.

(This story was fixed to correct sales figures, sales rate and 2008 month by Autodata)

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; editing by Matthew Lewis)