Car sales increase 57% in November

UK car sales rose by 57.6% in November compared with a year earlier, proving the scrappage scheme is having an impact on the struggling industry.

New cars

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal 158,082 cars were registered last month, a much-improved performance on a “weak” November 2008. It is also the fifth consecutive month that figures rose, compared to last year.

Proving the effectiveness of the scrappage scheme, the SMMT says 21.6% of the increase was attributable to the trade-in offer. So far this year, 1.84 million cars have been sold in the UK, 8.8% lower than at the same point last year.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, says: “The increase in new car registrations in November reflects the positive impact of the scrappage incentive scheme, customers avoiding the VAT increase in January and the very difficult conditions we experienced a year ago. “

The £100m scrappage scheme was extended in September and will currently run until April 2010

The SMMT is now warning that the outlook for the car industry is “uncertain” adding “much will rest on the wider economic recovery”.

Under current plans, when the scrappage scheme ends, new first year road tax rates will come into effect and VAT will return to 17.5%.

The scrappage scheme allows motorists to trade in cars more than 10 years old in return for a £2,000 subsidy on a new model.

The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model in November, as it has been in nine months of this year.

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