New car sales fell in July 2010 - the first decline for 12 months, it was announced today.
A total of 136,446 new cars were registered last month - a 13.2 per cent drop on the July 2009 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
The decline was partly a result of the ending of the car scrappage scheme - an initiative which boosted sales in the second half of 2009.
Despite the July fall, the SMMT said it expected year-end sales to reach just under 2.02 million - a 1.2 per cent rise on the 2009 total.
Sales for the year so far - January to July - totalled 1.24 million - a 15.1 per cent rise on the recession-hit first seven months of last year.
SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "A drop in private registrations compared to the scrappage-fuelled months of 2009 was expected and has brought the first market decline for 12 months.
"Subdued consumer confidence and a still fragile economic recovery make the outlook for the remainder of 2010 challenging, but a stronger than expected first half means full-year volumes are still forecast to exceed 2009's total."
Diesel-fuelled cars took a record 50.6 per cent share of the market last month, while sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles rose 52.6 per cent - giving this segment a 1.4 per cent market share.
These were the best-selling models in July 2010:
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Vauxhall Astra
3. Vauxhall Corsa
4. Ford Focus
5. Nissan Qashqai
6. Volkswagen Golf
7. BMW 3 Series
8. Vauxhall Insignia
9. Volkswagen Polo