November 2009 car sales figures show a 57% improvement over November 2008 – but 2009 is still down 8.8% overall.
A total of 157,363 cars were sold last month, compared to 99,927 in November 2008. This is according to official figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This brings the total number of cars sold in 2009 so far to 1,832,890 – compared to 2,009,799 cars sold by this time in 2008.
Impact of scrappage
The SMMT says that the improving market conditions are due in large part to the positive impact of the government’s Scrappage Incentive Scheme. Some 21% of all new car registrations in November came via the scheme.
Compared to November 2008, a period of ‘very difficult conditions’ according to the SMMT’s chief executive Paul Everitt, private car sales are up a remarkable 141% in November 2009. This suggests much improved consumer confidence – but is also likely to have been influenced by people wishing to avoid the VAT increase scheduled for January 2010.
Everitt said: ‘SMMT is urging government to use its Pre-Budget Report to sustain the recovery and generate business confidence by stimulating demand in key parts of the new vehicle market.’ Chancellor Alistair Darling is due to make the Pre-Budget Report this Wednesday, 9 December.
The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling car throughout the UK last month, and continues to top the 2009 sales charts in every region except Scotland, where the Vauxhall Corsa maintains a slender lead.
Follow Which? Car on Twitter
The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.
We’re monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got a Twitter account – you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.