By Claire West

The new car market declined for a fifth successive month in November, as volumes continue to adjust to a market without the Scrappage Incentive Scheme.

However, volumes in the month were 8% or just over 10,000 units ahead of our forecast of 129,400 units for November. At 139,875 units the market was down 11.5% on last year.

The market in 2009 included 35,415 cars reportedly bought through the scrappage scheme, equivalent to 22.4% of the total then.

“New car registrations fell by less than expected in November with demand from the fleet sector helping to offset the market rebalancing following the end of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme," said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Registrations are expected to fall next month, but demand may benefit from motorists looking to avoid the January VAT rise. This factor, coupled with the strength of the first half of 2010, means year-end volumes are expected to lift to over 2.03 million units, 2% up from last year. Next year will continue to be challenging as consumer spending tightens and government’s austerity measures take effect.”