New car sales drive higher in September

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CAR sales accelerated last month as buyers snapped up the new 62 number plates, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said today.

Scotland’s new car market continued to outpace the rest of the UK last month as consumers snapped up more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Industry figures yesterday showed there was a 15.3 per cent year-on-year jump in registrations in September – almost twice as high as the increase for the UK as a whole. In the year to date, car sales north of the Border grew 9.2 per cent compared with 4.3 per cent for the UK.

September is a key month for the car industry as it marks a twice-yearly change in vehicle registration plates.

Douglas Robertson, chief executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, said: “September’s plate change month was always going to be very important and we are pleased to see that the new car registration figures continue to rise.

“I believe we are slowly seeing the return of consumer confidence as more new, highly fuel-efficient models come to market. We have high hopes that by the end of this year we will still be showing close to a 10 per cent increase over last year.”

The lure of the new 62 number plates meant there were 36,330 registrations in Scotland last month. Across the UK, the total was 359,612 – a year-on-year rise of just over 8 per cent.

Paul Everitt, head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which compiles the data, said: “The important September plate change market outperformed expectations. Although the economic outlook remains challenging, we are starting to see a tentative return of consumer confidence.”



1 Vauxhall Corsa 2,536

2 Ford Fiesta 1,818

3 Vauxhall Astra 1,593

4 Ford Focus 1,191

5 Renault Clio 850


1 Ford Fiesta 18,651

2 Vauxhall Corsa 17,089

3 Ford Focus 13,837

4 Vauxhall Astra 9,864

5 VW Golf 9,270