The number of new cars licensed in May increased by 47 per cent compared with the same month last year as electric and hybrid vehicles continued to build on their market share, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.
The data shows there were 10,452 new cars licensed in the month, which was up from 7,120 in May 2022.
It also shows that more people who are buying new cars are opting for electric and hybrid models, as 18 per cent of all new cars licensed for the first time since the start of the year were electric compared with 13 per cent in the same period in 2022.
Furthermore, plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) new cars licensed in the first five months of 2023 rose by 21 per cent compared with same period in 2022.
Over a quarter (26 per cent) of the new cars licensed in the first five months of the year were PHEV or electric, compared to just over one-fifth (22 per cent) diesel and 35 per cent petrol.
The proportion of new diesel cars licensed was down from 26 per cent in the same period in 2022, and from 47 per cent in 2019.
The number of used cars licensed in the first five months of 2023 increased by 5 per cent compared with the same period in 2022.
There were 7,087 used diesel private cars licensed in the first five months of 2023, compared with 7,307 in first five months of 2022, which represented a fall of 3 per cent.
The data also showed that Volkswagen (1,576) was the most popular make of new private car licensed in May, followed by Toyota (1,344), Skoda (761), Kia (748) and Dacia (563). Together these five makes represented just under a half (48 per cent) of all new private cars licensed in May.