The automotive industry recorded the first monthly increase in sales this year, following the reopening of dealerships.
Some 174,887 cars were registered in July, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This represents an increase of 11.3% compared to the same month in 2019.
July was the first time dealers across the UK have been open for a full month since February, due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Thousands of new cars were parked at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northamptonshire before their delivery to dealers across the country.
Thousands of cars are in storage in Corby, Northamptonshire, before delivery to dealers across the country
Cars are stored at the old track at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northamptonshire
The SMMT said pent-up demand and special offers have led to “a reprieve for the sector”.
But despite the monthly increase, registrations for the first seven months of the year are down 41.9%.
SMMT Managing Director Mike Hawes said: “The numbers for July are positive, with pent-up demand increasing from the start of the year and attractive offers meaning there are some really good deals to be had. conclude.
“We have to be careful though, as showrooms have just reopened fully across the country and there is still a lot of uncertainty about the future.
“By the end of September, we should have a clearer picture of whether or not this is a long-term trend.
“While this month’s numbers give hope, the market remains fragile in the face of possible future peaks and localized lockdowns as well as, sadly, likely job losses across the economy.
“The next few weeks will be crucial in showing whether or not we are on the road to recovery. “
Rachael Prasher, managing director of automotive magazine and What Car? Website, said: “This is very welcome news for the UK automotive sector and a testament to all the hard work put in to revive the industry by dealers and manufacturers as the lockdown eased.
“After nearly three months of closed doors, it is great that the industry has shown that it remains so strong.
“However, with this month’s success mainly driven by pent-up demand and rental cycles, there is still a lot of work to be done. “
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said new car sales were down 41.9% in the first seven months of the year, although they are hoping for a rebound in sales after the showrooms reopen. exposure.
According to SMMT, the next few weeks will be crucial in determining whether the industry recovers after Covid-19