New car sales in Britain increased by almost a third in January to 145,500 compared with the same month last year, new figures showed today.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said the 30% increase was better than the industry had been expecting.
The UK government’s scrappage scheme, which has been extended by a month to the end of March, accounted for a fifth of sales.
The SMMT said the increase in sales, the seventh monthly rise in succession, had come despite a rise in VAT and the cold snap, which caused disruption across industry.
But the trade group warned that the outlook was “constrained” and said demand for new cars was expected to fall by 9% to 1.82 million units in the full year.