New car licences climb 11% year-on-year in September

Car licensing in first nine months runs higher than in 2020 but remains below 2019

Cars on Dublin’s M50: the rate at which new licences are issued has recovered since the pandemic. Photograph: Alan Betson

A total of 6,354 new cars were licensed for the first time in September, an increase of 11 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The number of new private cars licensed in September 2021 rose by 607 vehicles compared with September 2020 and by 2,250 vehicles compared with September 2019, the statistics body said.

New car licences in the first nine months of the year are, at 94,972, running 22 per cent higher than in the same period in 2020, but remain 12 per cent lower than in the first nine months of 2019, as the pandemic impact remains visible.

The share of new car licences that relate to electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) has increased over the past year, the CSO said. In the first nine months of 2021, 15 per cent of the new cars licensed for the first time were electric or PHEV compared to just 7 per cent in the first nine months of 2020.

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Meanwhile, the number of used private cars licensed in September fell 4,244 compared with September 2020. Over the first nine months of 2021, used private car licences are running 7 per cent higher than in 2020 but remain 20 per cent lower than in 2019.

The figures are based on the National Vehicle and Driver File compiled by the Department of Transport.