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September registrations up by 11.4%

New car registrations rose by 11.4% in a busy September plate change month to 367,929 units, marking the third successive rise in figures.

The official numbers from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that official figures were 30,000 units higher than the 2.5% rise that was originally forecast in comparison to the weak 2008 performance.

Despite the rise, September 2009’s 11.4% increase was still 51,361 units down in comparison to the same month in 2007 before the recession hit.

Scrappage scheme

The scrappage scheme accounted for 21% of the September new car registrations with 77,316 units sold. The total scrappage scheme sales tally is now at 178,278 units.

In the commercial vehicle sector, a total of 2,839 vans have been registered since the scheme began and 1,023 in September, accounting for 3.6% of overall van registrations in September.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: “New car registrations rose for the third month in a row in September.

“Market conditions remain challenging with demand being underpinned by the extremely successful scrappage incentive scheme. The extension of the scheme will help to sustain demand through the latter part of this year and into 2010. This will allow economic recovery to strengthen and safeguard valuable industrial capability.”

The September market this year is likely to be the largest month of sales in 2009, accounting for almost 20% of annual volumes. The market was 54,017 units up on the volume recorded in March. In the previous five years, March had been the largest monthly market.

Demand in the last three months has risen by 8.3%, but remains down 15.5% or 277,380 units for the year-to-date and down over 400,000 over the past 12 months.

Private demand again rose strongly, up 41.3%, boosted by the scrappage scheme, and year-to-date volumes are now within 1.9% of last year’s level.

Small car demand continues to grow, with mini volumes up 195% and the supermini segment up 21.2% in the month. Alternatively fuelled vehicle registrations rose 45.5% in September, due to new models entering the market.

The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model in the month for the seventh time this year.

New cars averaged 150.2g/km of carbon dioxide over the year-to-date, 4.9% down on the full year 2008 performance and 20.9% below the level recorded in 1997.

To download the full table of SMMT new car registration figures for September 2009 click here.

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