The number of UK car registrations rose by six per cent to 67,006 units in August, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The group reports that this is the second successive month of growth and builds on the 2.4 per cent gain in July. The SMMT believes the increase is influenced by the government’s car scrappage incentive, which gives car buyers £2,000 to turn in their old vehicles.
The SMMT figures show that the majority of new car registrations were from private owners (35,694) for small, predominantly petrol cars.
The Ford Focus was the best-selling model in August, shifting 4,366 units, ahead of the Fiesta (2,968 units) and Hyundai i10 (2,431). The Ford Fiesta, however, has been the best seller over the year to date with 69,948 models sold.
September could also be a month for growth, but Paul Everitt, chief executive at the SMMT, warned the automotive market is still shaky.
He said: ‘The scrappage incentive scheme is having a positive impact but with consumer and business confidence still fragile, there remain significant risks ahead.
‘It is essential that these early signs of recovery are sustained into 2010.’
The August 2009 growth was positive, but the SMMT indicates the figures are still 10,500 units below the 2007 outturn and 15 per cent off the 78,800 market averaged between 1999 and 2008.
August typically accounts for just 3.3 per cent of annual new car registrations. September, with the plate change, accounts for an average of 17 per cent of the market.
Registrations over the first eight months of 2009 were down by 21.5 per cent or 315,014 units. Over the past 12 months units have fallen by 530,125.