A new scrappage scheme in Slovakia boosted car sales in March, though not at the spectacular rates of 21% and 40% respectively seen in Germany in February and last month after a similar scheme was launched there.

Sales rose 2.54% to 7,698 units in March after two months of decline, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported, citing the Slovak Automotive Industry Association (ZAP).

But first quarter 2009 sales of cars and small utility vehicles fell 25 percent year on year to 16,184 units.

The trade-in scheme offering EUR2,000 to scrap cars older than 10 years was introduced by the government in March to help halt the slump in new vehicle sales.

In the first three weeks of the month, Slovaks scrapped over 22,000 cars under the scheme whose popularity led the cabinet to earmark another EUR22m for it last Monday after EUR33m in the first phase, AFP added.