Number of new private cars licensed rises for first time since Covid

Latest CSO figures also show numbers opting for electric or hybrid cars continues to rise

The licensing figures also show that Volkswagen (902) was the most popular make of new private car licensed.

The licensing figures also show that Volkswagen (902) was the most popular make of new private car licensed.

 

The number of new private cars licensed increased year on year last month for the first time since the Covid-19 crisis, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

The number of people opting for electric or hybrid cars continued to rise.

Some 7,360 new private cars were licensed, a rise of 2.2 per cent compared with August 2019. The number of used (imported) private cars licensed fell by 13.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2019.

Comparing Tuesday’s CSO figures with the recently published Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) figures, CSO statistician Olive Loughnane said it was important to note that 63.7 per cent of new cars licensed in August were registered before August.

New car registrations, as reported by SIMI, were 4,875 in August.

The monthly licensing figures from the CSO and the registration figures from SIMI differ due to the different dates on which a vehicle is registered (number plate) and licensed (tax disc).

A vehicle may be registered by a dealership in advance of a sale, and vehicles which are registered in a given month may not be licensed until a later month.

In the first eight months of 2020, a total of 71,873 new private cars were licensed, down 30.6 per cent compared with the same period last year. The number of used private cars licensed fell by 38.9 per cent compared with the same period in 2019.

 

Popularity

Electric and hybrid cars continued to grow in popularity. These accounted for 19.1 per cent of new private cars licensed in the first eight months of 2020, compared with 12.5 per cent in the same period in 2019.

Hybrid cars licensed between January and August amounted to 834 (8.2 per cent up) despite the drop in new cars licensed.

The licensing figures show that Volkswagen (902) was the most popular make of new private car licensed, followed by Skoda (664), Ford (652), Hyundai (612) and Kia (594). Together these five makes represent 46.5 per cent of all new private cars licensed in August.

In the first eight months of the year, 43.4 per cent of all new private cars licensed were diesel, compared with 46.6 per cent in the same period for 2019. Of new private cars licensed in the same period, 94.4 per cent were in the A/B CO2 emissions bands.

There was a decrease of 10.1 per cent in the number of new goods vehicles licensed in August bringing the total to 2,247.

In 2020 to date, 0.4 per cent of imported private cars licensed were less than one year old (vehicles previously registered abroad in 2020) while 2,256 (5.3 per cent) were 10 years or older.

There were 31,207 new diesel private cars licensed in the first eight months of 2020, compared with 48,291 in the same period in 2019. For used diesel private cars, the total licensed was 28,517 in the first eight months of 2020. This compares with 50,777 in the same period last year.

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