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How boomy is this? Big boost in car sales but good luck getting your banger insured

There was a 30% boost in private cars being licenced last year.

Image: Shutterstock/Ollyy

CAR SALES, OFTEN taken as a barometer of the country’s prosperity, seem to be in full boom-mode.

During 2015 the number of private cars licenced shot up by more than 30% from the year before, rising from 92,661 up to 121,110.

When goods vehicles were factored in, the total number of new vehicles licenced went from 117,652 in 2014 up to 153,850 in 2015.

new cars licenced New private cars licensed for the first time, 2010 - 2015 Source: CSO

While a bigger number of car sales might seem like step in the right direction as far as the recovery goes, the increase in new vehicles comes on the heels of insurers making it tougher to insure older ones.

Last summer two of Ireland’s biggest players in the industry Aviva Insurance and Allianz Insurance said they would no longer be insuring older cars.

Insurance rising 

Speaking in the Seanad earlier today, Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said that he was aware of young drivers being quoted between €2,000 and €9,000 for car insurance.

Speaking about the rules around car age, Ó Clochartaigh said:

This drives rural people off the road or renders older cars valueless if people wish to sell them on. This is unacceptable and also questions the validity of the NCT process.

He called for the government to take insurance companies to task in order and stop them from unfairly exploiting drivers.

In December, an AA Motor Insurance survey of 5,000 motorists found that one third of Irish drivers had seen their insurance rise by 50%.

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Insurance aside, what kind of cars are we buying?

Despite the major emissions scandal last year, Volkswagen remained Irish drivers’ top pick. 15,016 vehicles produced by the German manufacturer were sold last year.

car makes

They were followed by Toyota, which sold 12,409 units; Ford, which sold 11,823; Nissan, which sold 10,843; and Hyundai, which sold 10,743.

The CSO have noted that the dual registration system – introduced in 2013 – has changed the way that people buy cars.

Previously, when car registration numbers were updated annually, the majority of cars were sold in the first half of the year.

This year the percentage of cars licensed in July (17.6%) has surpassed the number licensed in January (16.6%) for the first time.

Read: Drive an old car? It’s about to become harder to get insured

Also: Drivers saw insurance rise by up to 50% this year and the increase looks set to continue

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