New car sales start the year steady with 1.7% increase

Initial 10-day figures show slight growth in sales but used imports up nearly 30%

Toyota is the leading brand with 2,104 registrations, followed by Hyundai with 1,931, Ford with 1,665, Nissan with 1,351 and Kia with 1,029. Photograph: Getty Images

Toyota is the leading brand with 2,104 registrations, followed by Hyundai with 1,931, Ford with 1,665, Nissan with 1,351 and Kia with 1,029. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Initial registration figures for the first 10 days of January show 15,790 new car sales, up 1.7 per cent on the same period last year.

While industry sources warn that it’s too early in the month to read too much into the initial figures, they do show continued growth in used imports among consumers. In the 10-day period, 2,752 used cars were re-registered in the Republic, a 30 per cent rise on the same period last year.

The figures also show that diesel sales are dropping as more buyers move back to petrol or opt for hybrids. The diesel share of the new car market fell to 58.7 per cent, down from 67.6 per cent last year, while petrol accounted for 34.3 per cent of sales. Hybrids recorded a noticeable rise from 3.53 per cent last year to 6.52 per cent in the first 10 days of the month.

Electric cars

However, there has been a drop in the number of electric vehicles registered in this period – down eight cars to 30 new registrations – although this is likely to be down to supply issues at the start of the year rather than a lack of consumer interest. Distributors are reporting strong interest among company car buyers following changes in the budget, which reduced benefit-in-kind tax on to zero per cent on electric cars.

Toyota is the leading brand with 2,104 registrations, followed by Hyundai with 1,931, Ford with 1,665, Nissan with 1,351 and Kia with 1,029. The best-selling premium brand is Mercedes-Benz with 708, ahead of Audi with 547 and BMW with 532. Mercedes has done particularly well on the back of popularity for its E-Class model, which is the best-selling premium car on the market, and the fourth most popular new car in Co Dublin.

Overall, the best-selling model remains the Hyundai Tucson with 807 registrations, ahead of the Nissan Qashqai with 547.