Sales in February were better than predicted thanks to strong fleet demand

New car registrations in February fell less than expected, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The better-than-expected sales result has been attributed to strong fleet demand easing decline which dropped by just 7.7 per cent to 63,424, when compared to February’s scrappage-boosted 68,686 sales last year.

February's best-sellers were the Volkswagen Golf - with 2709 sold - followed closely by the Vauxhall Corsa - 2617 cars sold.

Overall, 2011 sales are down on 2010 by 10.2 per cent to 192,235 units, with expectations for the first six months of this year estimated to have dropped by 8.3 per cent, compared with 2010.

According to SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt, “The UK motor industry is looking for a strong March market to help boost confidence and kick start demand for the new 11-plate. February new car registrations were better than expected and whilst below 2010 levels, they were significantly ahead of 2009 and on an improving trend.”

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