New car sales fall in February

Car registrations fell in February for the eighth consecutive month, new figures have shown.

A report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that a total of 63,424 new cars were sold last month - a year-on-year decline of 7.7%.

However, findings revealed that the decline eased in February and was the smallest in the last eight months.

The SMMT said that year-on-year comparisons need to consider the impact of the Government's car scrappage scheme, which accounted for around 20% of sales in February 2010.

It added that February is a quiet month for the motor industry, with many consumers waiting for the March new number plate.

Sales over the January-February 2011 period are more than 10% down annually, with the SMMT reckoning that registrations will fall around 8.3% over the first half of this year before picking up in the latter six months.

Sales of minis and superminis, which were particularly boosted by the scrappage scheme, fell last month, while executive cars, luxury saloons, sports cars and MPVs all did well in February 2011.

Demand for diesel cars rose 8.9%, with diesel taking a more than 50% share of the market.

Volkswagen's Golf topped the list of best-selling cars last month, followed by Vauxhall's Corsa and Ford's Focus.

Copyright © Press Association 2011