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October best month yet for new car sales

Scrappage and VAT increase boost car registrations

Scrappage scheme boosts new car sales

The scrappage scheme has boosted car sales

New car registrations for October 2009 show the biggest gains of the year, according to the latest sales figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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Registrations for October rose 31.6 per cent to 168,942 units, with gains coming throughout the UK. The SMMT attributes ‘over 20 per cent’ of October’s new car sales to the Government’s , which it seems has really worked to stimulate the ailing motor trade.

The has produced a fourth consecutive month of growth, and its impact is supported by an 86 per cent rise in private buyers over the past month. The scheme seems to be pleasing everybody from car dealers to environmentalists (newer cars are greener) and safety activists such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists (newer cars have better safety equipment).

VAT increase also important

But the October increase isn’t due to the alone.

According to Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive: “We have seen additional demand created by the extension of the scheme and customers wanting to avoid the VAT increase planned for January. Encouragingly, there has also been an increase in demand in the fleet and business sectors, which will be critical in sustaining recovery next year.”

The VAT rate is scheduled to return to 17.5 per cent on 1 January 2010, from the current 15 per cent.

Sales still lower than 2008

Year-to-date new car registrations are still down 12.27 per cent compared to 2008, at 1,685,981. It shows that the industry still has a way to go before it achieves previous heights.

Of all the regions, Scotland is the least affected, down just 0.36 per cent overall. That’s compared to England, Northern Ireland and Wales, down 13.54 per cent, 12.68 per cent and 8.95 per cent respectively.


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