Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed a 2.4 per cent increase in new car sales in July.
Registrations from private buyers were up for the second successive month, with a 33.4 per cent rise in July. Small car registrations more than trebled from the same period last year and supermini volumes, accounting for 37.5 per cent of all registrations, were up by 15.7 per cent.
The SMMT has attributed the rise to an increase in orders from the scrappage scheme launched in May. However, it warned that the industry is still a long way from recovery.
Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The impact of the scrappage scheme is clear and we are encouraged by the positive impact it has had, increasing new car registrations for the first time since April 2008.
‘Industry still faces a long road to recovery and we urge the government to take action to sustain economic recovery through easing access to finance and credit, and delivering the loan guarantees set out by the Automotive Assistance Programme.’
The results were 10.4 per cent above SMMT forecasts for the month, but were still 10.1 per cent below the average for July results between 1999 and 2008.
Total new car registrations over the year to date remain down 22.8 per cent or 318,795 units and volumes over the past 12 months have dropped by 548,330 units.
According to the SMMT, the market is expected to fall 14.4 per cent to 1.825 million units this year and drop a further five per cent in 2010.