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The 142 reg plate is so far twice as popular as the 132 last year

SIMI said initial sales have far exceeded expectations.

MORE THAN TWICE as many 142 cars were registered on the first day of the new registration plate compared with the same day last year.

Figures from Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that 4,264 new cars were registered yesterday.

On the same day last year, 1,924 were sold with the 132 plate.

SIMI director general Alan Nolan said that yesterday “turned out to be the highest day for new car registrations this year, and nobody expected that”.

“It has to be put in the context that we are starting from a low base it is clear that an increasing number of consumers are returning to the market.”

The new split-registration plate was introduced last year in a bid to divide sales more evenly throughout the year.

The industry sees it as providing an incentive to people looking to buy a new car in the second half of the year, as it could be ultimately have more resale value.

It was also a bid to protect jobs in the industry, which tends to lag in the latter half of the year.

However, SIMI said last year that while a mini-boost had been provided when the 132 plate was released, it was still a “difficult year”.

Read: New car sales up 28 per cent as market continues to speed ahead >

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