September is up if scrappage effect is removed. Girish Gupta reports.

New car registrations fell 8.9% in September to 335,246 units against a scrappage scheme-fuelled 2009, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

However, after excluding scrappage scheme figures, September was 16.3% up on 2009 and on par with 2008.

The overall market remains 7.8% up over the year-to-date with total sales of 1,635,659 units. The full-year market is expected to total 2m, up slightly on 2009.

New fleet vehicle purchases in September actually increased 6.7% to 146,026 units while consumer purchases were down 19% at 170,951 units.

Over the year-to-date, however, private sales have increased 4% to 784,033 units and fleet sales are up 12.9% to 771,463 units.

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SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "Despite an 8.9% fall in September registrations, demand for new cars has stabilised and will end 2010 slightly up on last year.

"It is important that alongside government’s austerity measures, the comprehensive spending review signals a strong growth agenda to boost consumer and business confidence."

The most popular new vehicle in September remains the Ford Fiesta, which has held the top spot for the year-to-date, leaving Vauxhall’s Astra and Corsa fighting it out for second place.

The scrappage scheme has had a positive net contribution to the UK new car market, the SMMT claimed.

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