Page last updated at 08:35 GMT, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 09:35 UK

Strong increase in new car sales

New 59 registration number
The new 59 registration numbers were available from 1 September

Sales of new cars rose 11.4% in September compared with the same month last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The new "59" registration plates were available from 1 September and 367,929 of them were sold in the month.

The SMMT said that conditions remained "challenging" but the market was being supported by the scrappage scheme.

Last week, the government announced it was extending the trade-in scheme from £300m to £400m.

"The extension of the scheme will help to sustain demand through the latter part of this year and into 2010," said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT.

Ford Fiesta: 22,635
Vauxhall Corsa: 16,379
Ford Focus: 13,622
Vauxhall Astra: 13,190
Volkswagen Golf: 11,787
Peugeot 207: 9,161
Mini: 8,634
BMW 3 Series: 7,465
Toyota Yaris: 6,896
BMW 1 Series: 6,671
Source: SMMT

"This will allow economic recovery to strengthen and safeguard valuable industrial capability."

The scrappage scheme allows people to trade-in a car that is more than 10 years old for £2,000 off a new vehicle.

The SMMT predicted that September would be the strongest month of the year for car sales, accounting for about 20% of the year's total.

The Ford Fiesta was the best selling car in the month for the seventh time in 2009, reflecting continuing strong demand for smaller cars.

It was the first time in five years that sales in September had beaten sales in March, when the year's other new registration number is released.

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