The Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) has reported a 13.2 pct drop in new car sales following 12 monthly successive rises, saying that 'it was expected' after scrappage fuelled months across the last year and a half.

"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." said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive who said that a fragile consumer confidence and uncertain outlook for the recovery made for 'a challenging year'.

Diesel share of the market meanwhile grew as new buyers of diesel cars overtook petrol for the first time - reaching 50.6 pct share in July as AA fuel price reports for July showed that the two have just a 2.4ppl difference.

"London recorded the highest price for unleaded at 118.7ppl. Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West recorded the lowest price for unleaded at 116.2ppl. Northern Ireland recorded the highest diesel price at 121.1ppl. Yorkshire and Humberside have the cheapest diesel at 118.8ppl." said the AA.

"In contrast, new car registrations had increased 19.9% year-on-year in the first half of 2010, reflecting the fact that sales were still being lifted in the early months of the year by the car scrappage scheme that finished at the end of March." added IHS Global Chief Economist, Howard Archer today.

"It is notable that just as private sales led car sales earlier this year while the car scrappage scheme was in place, they are now seeing the greatest softness. Indeed, private car sales were down 28.5% year-on-year in July at 55,712. In contrast, fleet sales were up by 2.7% to 73,973. Business sales were down by 6.5% to 6,761." he added.

Toyota meanwhile, has continued the scrappage scheme by allowing motorists to do a 'swappage' with their old motor for £2,000 off a new Toyota. The so-called 'swappage scheme' is between seven and 10 years old and does not involve sending the car off for end-of-life recycling or 'scrappage' hence the key difference with the Government campaign.