RTTNews - UK new car registrations increased for the first time since April 2008, mirroring the positive impact of the scrappage incentive scheme, a report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited or SMMT said Thursday.

New car registrations rose 2.4% year-on-year to 157,149 units in July, after the 15.7% fall in the previous month. This was the first increase in 15 months. The July figure came in 10.4% above SMMT's forecast for 142,300 units for the month.

The scrappage scheme offers motorists GBP 2,000 incentive to scrap their cars over ten years old.

Total new car registrations, on a year-to-date basis, dropped 22.8% or 318,795 units. That said, volumes dropped by 548,330 units over the past 12 months, hit by recession.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive said, Industry still faces a long road to recovery and we urge government to take action to sustain economic recovery through easing access to finance and credit and delivering the loan guarantees set out by the Automotive Assistance Programme.

Registrations to private buyers continued to increase, up 33.4% annually in July, the highest growth since 2004.

The growth in mini segment registrations more than trebled in July, while super mini volume rose 15.7%.

The market is expected to fall 14.4% to 1.825 million units in 2009 and decline a further 5% in 2010 to 1.73 million units, the SMMT said.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com