Dealers report leap in ’60’ plate interest

Previously, new car sales had dropped for a second consecutive month after the last of the scrappage scheme sales ended, but the introduction of 60 plates has sparked customers’ interest again.

Graham Knell, General Manager at Perrys in Canterbury, said: "We have seen a substantial increase in interest leading up to the new 60 plate registrations."

The strong interest has also been reported in other Perrys dealers such as Amersham, Aylesbury and Dover.

Sales are expected to be boosted by the all-new Ford Focus and updates to the Fiesta range, the two top selling models in the UK in 2010.

The new models will be introduced at the Paris Motor Show in September before being launched in the UK.

However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has warned the next few months will see sales decrease.

"New car registrations were down 17.5% in August and conditions will remain challenging through the rest of the year,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

Dealers are urging customers to buy now to beat the VAT rise from January 2011, and have warned potential buyers the VAT is applied when the car is delivered, so it is important to order early to beat the price hike.

Knell continued: "Consumer confidence seems to be improving, and with the rise in VAT set for the start of 2011 now is a great time to be replacing your old car!"