The UK car market declined by 22% over last year in October to 131,495 units, continuing a weakening trend in car demand.

The SMMT said that further declines are likely in the remainder of year.

“There was a significant fall in October’s new car registrations, reflecting the impact of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme (SIS) at this time last year and some deterioration in consumer confidence.  Total new car registrations in 2010 are forecast to be 2.026 million units, 1.5% up on 2009," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

“The industry expects the coming months to be challenging with slow, but steady, economic growth feeding through to improved confidence and demand during 2011.”

Fallout from the scrappage scheme continues with underlying demand subdued.

The 2010 October market was 2.4% ahead of the low of 2008, and on par with the 2009 market if all scrappage volumes were excluded. In October 2009 scrappage represented 21.9% of the market, with 37,000 units.

The SMMT said that October’s decline was in line with SMMT expectations for the month. The full year forecast was revised upwards to 2.026 million units last month, a modest 1.5% rise over 2009.
The Ford Fiesta was again the best selling model, but registrations of supermini and mini segment cars have fallen sharply in recent months.