UK New Car Sales up 2.6 percent in October image

British new car sales rose by 2.6 percent in October to 134,944 units, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said on Friday.

This was almost 7 percent and nearly 9,000 units ahead of SMMT’s forecast for the month, but volumes remain almost 20% off the level recorded in 2007, prior to recession.

However, year-to-date new vehicle sales were down 4.5 percent on the same period in 2010.

‘Vehicle manufacturers and their dealer networks are working hard to offer consumers value for money through improved fuel efficiency, low running costs and innovative finance.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said October’s rise was a positive result given the uncertain economic climate.

The Ford Fiesta was again the best-selling model in both October and over the year-to-date, while the Volkswagen Golf was the bestselling diesel model in October.

The SMMT has forecast registrations will end 2011 down 5.0% on 2010.

“We expect market conditions to remain challenging,” Paul Everitt,SMMT Chief Executive, said.

The market remains on track to achieve SMMT’s full year forecast of 1.923 million units.