MADRID, May 14 (Reuters) - The Spanish government on Thursday said it was renewing its vehicle scrappage incentive scheme for the seventh time, offering consumers state subsidies for turning in old vehicles when buying a new car.
The subsidies have substantially boosted sales, and the new package will be worth 225 million euros ($257 million), Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.
It comes just before regional and municipal elections on May 24, for which official campaigning kicked off last week.
Car sales grew only 3.2 percent in April after the previous scrappage scheme ended, compared with a 40.5 percent rise in sales in March.
Spain has posted 20 months of growth for passenger car registrations. The scheme, known as PIVE, aims to reduce the number of older cars on the road, improving road safety and supporting the car manufacturing industry in Spain.
$1 = 0.8753 euros Reporting By Sonya Dowsett and Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by John Stonestreet