LONDON (AP) -- New car registrations in the United Kingdom rose 27 percent in March compared to a year ago, in the last month of government-backed discounts, an industry group reported Thursday.
The number of registrations of cars built in the U.K. was up 52 percent, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.
March was the last month of a program in which the government and the industry split the cost of 2,000-pound ($3,000) discounts on new cars for buyers who traded in a car at least 10 years old.
"A strong March performance was underpinned by the scrappage incentive and improving demand in the fleet sector," said Paul Everitt, the society's chief executive.
"The coming months will remain challenging and headline registration numbers are expected to dip, but underlying demand will continue to improve slowly."