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Further drop in sales of new cars

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The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for June show a further decrease in the sale of new cars.

The number of new registrations last month slumped to 183,125 compared to last year.

Sales were 6.2% down, with car insurance companies likely to have noticed a fall in demand for policies to cover new motors.

However sales of commercial vehicles held up well, with 25,968 being sold in June, up 12.7%. Of these, 22,850 were vans - up 13.5% on 2010 - a welcome boost for specialist van insurance providers.

The first half of 2011 saw a total of 1,029,638 cars bought, a 7.1% drop compared to the first six months of last year, which saw a boost due to the Government's car scrappage scheme.

With June being the 12th month in a row to see sales drop, the SMMT is predicting the year-end total will fall from 2010's 2.03 million to 1.93 million in 2011.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "June new car registrations continued to perform in line with industry expectations, with robust demand in the fleet sector and a relatively weak retail market."

However, diesel car sales rose by 4% last month and are up 7.5% on the first half of last year.

© Press Association 2011