New data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that more than 1.2 million new cars were registered during the first six months of 2010.

This is good news for the car industry as it shows a boost in sales of one fifth in comparison to the first half of 2009, with 195,226 new cars sold in June alone – a 10.8 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.

The SMMT said that it was a particularly good result for the car industry considering the Scrappage Scheme finished in March this year, an incentive which offered new car buyers a £2,000 discount if they scrapped a car older than 10 years.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: 'Like many, we were anticipating that this would be a difficult month because of the end of the scrappage scheme.

' 'I think the next six months are still going to be a very tough time for us. We would expect to see some dip following a buoyant first half of the year.

It is predicted that the increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20% in January 2011 may increase car sales at the end of the year as buyers try to save money. June marked the twelth successive month that car sales have risen after 15 months of falls.