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420,000-unit September rush under way - SMMT

Over 420,000 new cars will be registered in the UK this month, pushing the year-to-date total ever closer to the expected 2.52 million units forecast by SMMT. This will make 2003 the second highest total on record, 40,000 units short of last year's figure.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented "As the first of the '53' number plates leave Britain's forecourts today, car manufacturers are preparing themselves for a bumper month of new car registrations. September car sales account for over 15% of the annual car market and nearly 25 per cent of those cars will be registered today. UK new car sales have remained strong as European markets falter. Low prices and great deals have driven buyers to take advantage of the ever-growing choice of models, pushing forecasts close to our best ever total."

The SMMT reports that the top county for new car registrations (based on year-to-date figures per head of population) is Berkshire and the county's motorists obviously like to drive to impress, as they are also top of the new convertible car registrations. Residents of Surrey are power freaks - they top the list for the new car registrations with engines over 4,500cc. Lovers of estate cars are most likely to be found in Warwickshire, while the Welsh are the least likely to buy a new car based on this year's figures.

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