New car sales rise by 26% thanks to scrappage offers

New car sales increased by 26.6% in the last month, largely driven by uptake of the scrappage scheme.

car sales
Car sales

The scrappage scheme came to an end last week after its last remaining funds ran under a quota system based on brand popularity, despite calls from automotive experts who highlighted that the new car market has maintained strong growth in each of the past nine months.

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers, in March 2010397,383 new cars were registered, a 26.6% rise on a difficult March 2009.

The society claims that 12.2% of registrations were sold under the scrappage scheme and were mainly due to private buyers, but fleet and business demand also improved.

It adds that growth across all sales types through the first quarter of 2010 demonstrates underlying stability, which should sustain the post-scrappage market.

Registrations of UK built cars rose 52.1% in March.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, says: “The UK motor industry has enjoyed a better than anticipated first quarter of 2010. A strong March performance was underpinned by the scrappage incentive and improving demand in the fleet sector. The coming months will remain challenging and headline registration numbers are expected to dip, but underlying demand will continues to improve slowly.”

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