Year-on-year drop of 24.8 per cent in May
4 June 2009

UK car sales dropped by 24.8 per cent in May compared to the same period last year, new industry figures show.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT), who issued the stats, said the market is looking more buoyant than it has done earlier in 2009, but warned it is too early to judge the effect of scrappage, which was introduced on May 18.

The number of new cars sold in the UK during the month was 134,858, compared with 179,272 in May last year.

Overall registrations in 2009 have been 748,691, a 27.9 per cent drop on the first five months of 2008. Car sales have now fallen year-on-year for 13 consecutive months.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “While consumer confidence is improving, the UK motor industry is still facing a difficult economic climate.

“We have seen an encouraging start to the scrappage incentive scheme with 35,000 orders being placed since it was announced, although it will take time to feed into registration figures.”

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Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is an impressive achievement and a worthy rival to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but it isn't quite up to class-leading standards

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Meanwhile, Honda has completed the build of the first Civic (pictured) to be made at its Swindon factory since it reopened earlier this week.

Top ten sellers in May:1 Ford Fiesta2 Ford Focus3 Vauxhall Corsa4 Volkswagen Golf5 Vauxhall Astra6 Peugeot 2077 Mini8 Ford Mondeo9 Nissan Qashqai10 Vauxhall Insignia

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Our Verdict

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is an impressive achievement and a worthy rival to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but it isn't quite up to class-leading standards

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week