New car sales in the UK rose for the ninth straight month in March, up 26.6 per cent on the same month last year.
Figures were again boosted by the UK’s scrappage incentive scheme, which accounted for more than one in 10 sales in the month. Scrappage came to an end on 31 March.
In total, 397,383 cars were registered in the UK in March. The strongest growth was in the private sector, although there were also signs of growth in the fleet and business sectors.
Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK motor industry has enjoyed a better than anticipated first quarter of 2010. A strong March performance was underpinned by the scrappage incentive and improving demand in the fleet sector.
“The coming months will remain challenging and headline registration numbers are expected to dip, but underlying demand will continues to improve slowly.”
The UK’s best-selling car in March was the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Ford Focus and Vauxhall’s Astra and Corsa models.