Scrappage scheme: the final figures

The impressive figures are just 20,000 short of the quota available from the government, who extended the scheme by a month after demand for newer, more efficient cars increased during the initiative.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders compiled the data, and Chief Executive Paul Everitt was pleased with the results of the scheme.

"The scheme has provided a hugely important stimulus to the market and leaves industry in far better health than we saw in pre-scrappage 2009. Consumers will also benefit from the improved fuel efficiency, the latest safety features and cleaner tailpipe emissions available from the new vehicles purchased through the scheme."

Scrappage accounted for 18.7 per cent of all new car sales since the beginning of the scheme, which offered £2,000 off the price of a new car when trading in a vehicle over ten years old.

The scheme has largely been praised for boosting demand in the struggling car market and leaving the industry in better health than a year ago.

The environmental impact of the scheme has been positive too – average emissions of cars scrapped in the scheme are nearly 50g/km higher than the cars bought during the scheme.

This could be down to superminis accounting for 58.5 per cent of the scheme. Smaller, more fuel efficient cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 500 all sold well during the scheme compared to larger, less efficient models.

Many manufacturers are now offering their own incentives to encourage sales in the wake of the government scheme ending and a range of new, lower CO2 cars are set for release this year.