New car sales rise 2.6% in October

New car sales in the UK rose 2.6% year-on-year to a higher-than-expected 134,944 in October, figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have shown.

The new owners may be rushing to car insurance providers to take out cover.

However, there was a 4.5% year-on-year drop in registrations in the first 10 months of 2011 to 1,688,038.

The Government's car-scrappage scheme had helped push sales figures up a year ago.

New car sales last month were almost 20% lower than the pre-recession October 2007 figure.

Nearly 1.92 million new cars are expected to be registered in 2011, lower than last year's 2.03 million registrations.

Next year, 1.96 million new cars are expected to be sold in the UK.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "The October 2011 rise was a positive result despite the uncertain economic climate."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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