Car sales fall for third time

CAR SALES in the UK were down for a third month, after September registrations dropped by 8.9 per cent compared to the previous year.

According to monthly data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) the fall in sales meant that 335,246 cars were bought last month versus the 367,929 which were sold in September 2009.

The SMMT said the 2009 figure included the impact of the government’s scrappage scheme, when consumers were offered £2,000 for cars older than ten years.

However, excluding the scrappage enhanced figures of 2009, the SMMT said that car sales in September were actually 16.3 per cent ahead of last year and on par with 2008 numbers.

Likewise, 1.6m cars were sold within the last 12 months marking a 7.8 per cent improvement on the previous year and suggesting that consumer confidence is returning.

“Despite an 8.9 per cent fall in September registrations, demand for new cars has stabilised and will end 2010 slightly up on last year,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

Over 150,000 Diesel based cars were sold last month, while 4,176 alternatively fuelled vehicles were in demand. Both figures are slightly are up on last year. The SMMT said new car sales for the whole of 2010 should reach 2m, slightly above 2009’s total.