September car sales to book a yearly increase

NEWcar registrations in September 2009 outstripped the previous year&rsquo;s, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is expected to show tomorrow, lending credence to the government&rsquo;s decision to extend its scrappage scheme. <br /><br />New registrations for the month will be 10 per cent higher than in September 2008, in a further sign that the worst could be over for the ailing car industry. <br /><br />September registrations are an important bellwether for the car market. Around 17 per cent of annual sales are made in the month as drivers are eager to get their hands on a new registration plate.<br /><br />Fleet sales are expected to show a particularly good improvement. Recently, sales of fleets &ndash; which account for around 50 per cent of total sales &ndash; have been down some 20 per cent as cash-strapped companies shy away from upgrading cars in the downturn.<br /><br />But many businesses are now looking to snap up new fleets before VAT goes back to 17.5 per cent on 1 January.<br /><br />Business secretary Lord Mandelson announced he would be extending&nbsp; the scrappage scheme at Labour&rsquo;s party conference last week.