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Car sales fall despite arrival of scrap scheme

But experts say consumer confidence is improving

Cars sales have fallen again

Cars sales have fallen again

New car sales slumped again in May, official figures show, despite the high-profile launch of the government’s new scrappage scheme.

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Just 134,858 new cars were registered last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said – 24.8% fewer than in May 2008. 

Car sales have now fallen for 13 successive months and registrations for the first five months of 2009 are down by nearly 28% on the same period last year.

Scrappage scheme

Under the terms of the new , drivers who trade in a qualifying 10-year-old car can get money off a brand-new model of their choice.

More than 35,000 vehicles have already been sold under the scheme, with smaller, more efficient cars like the proving most popular with buyers.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: ‘While consumer confidence is improving, the UK motor industry is still facing a difficult economic climate.

‘We have seen an encouraging start to the with 35,000 orders being placed since it was announced, although it will take time to feed into registration figures.’

The Retail Motor Industry Federation has predicted a ‘significant increase’ in car sales over the coming months, but the scrappage scheme will only last until government funds – currently capped at £300m – run dry.

For full details on scrapping your car and to find out if you’re eligible for discounts of at least £2,000, read our expert guide to the .


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