Irish Economy
Irish new car sales rose 17% in month of September; Down 7% year to date
By Finfacts Team
Oct 7, 2013 - 3:54 PM

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The number of new private cars licensed for the first time increased by 17.0% to 3,257 in September 2013 compared to September 2012, the CSO said today. Used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time were up 59.6% to 4,735 for the same period. In total, there were 66,570 new private cars licensed in the year to the end of September 2013, a fall of 7.0% compared to the same period in 2012. The corresponding figure for 2013 in respect of used (imported) private cars was 37,437 and this was up 32.1% from 2012.

Alan Nolan, director general of SIMI, the industry group, said last week "The market in 2013 has been very difficult for the new car sales market with year to date registrations down 7% on 2012, which was already 12% down on 2011. The introduction of the new 132 registration plate in July has been the one bright spot in a very poor year, the second registration period having improved this year’s performance from 15% down at the end of May to 7% down at the end of September. The new dual registration plate system helped to make the most of the very low retail market this year and will continue to benefit the Industry and consumers in the future. However, there is no concealing the fact that 2013 has been the second worst year since the recession started. After 2009, with 59,000 new car registrations, this has actually been the worst year since 1993.

It is in this context that the Industry is asking the Government to consider introducing a ‘Swappage’ incentive (€2,000 VRT refund on new car purchase if trading a six year old car or older) in this month’s Budget. Such a scheme, as with Scrappage, will have no cost to the State, indeed it should deliver an additional €80 million in VRT and VAT in addition to supporting some 2,200 extra jobs in towns right across the country. The additional jobs are worth an additional €50 million to the Exchequer. 

In 2008, the Exchequer collected €2 billion in VRT and VAT from new car sales. This year it will collect around €600 million. Swappage will help commence a return to increased revenues as well as protecting and increasing the 36,800 jobs currently in the Motor Industry."

The licensing figures show that:

  • The number of new goods vehicles licensed in September 2013 was 972, up 33.3% from September 2012.
  • In September 2013, the total number of all vehicles licensed was 16,659 compared with 7,916 in the corresponding month last year – an increase of 110.4%.
  • The total number of all new vehicles licensed during September 2013 was 6,636 compared with 3,999 during the same month in 2012 - an increase of 65.9%.
  • In September 2013, the total number of used (imported) private cars licensed was 4,735 compared with 2,967 during September 2012 - an increase of 59.6%.
  • In September 2013, of the 3,257 new private cars licensed, 735 (22.6%) were petrol and 2,465 (75.7%) were diesel.
  • The highest number of new private cars licensed in September 2013, classified by make, was Volkswagen (476) followed by BMW (321), Toyota (310) and Skoda (265)./LI>

The licensing figures refer to vehicles taxed for road use only and classified by taxation class.

It should be noted that the three month transition period for motor tax gapping provided for in the Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Act 2013 ended on September 30th 2013.

Licensing differs from registration in that a vehicle is licensed when a valid motor tax disc is issued for the first time. Registration occurs when a vehicle gets its licence plate (registration number) for the first time.

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