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Graphs: Here's how car-crazy Ireland was in 2000

Figures compiled by the All-Ireland Research Observatory show just how much car sales in Ireland spiked (especially in 2000) – but how they fell sharply in the crash.

IRELAND’S BRIEF OBSESSION with buying new cars is well-documented, but these new graphs show just how out-of-kilter the country was with the rest of the EU.

This information compiled by the All Ireland Research Observatory (AIRO) at NUI Maynooth shows new car registrations across Europe from 1991 to 2012, with figures for Ireland peaking dramatically in 2000 – and cratering in 2009 in the depths of the financial crisis.

The first map shows Ireland (the green line) compared to the UK, France, Greece and Poland over the two decades (the key is just above the graph). If you go to the AIRO site you can compare data for all EU countries.

AIRO notes that there was an increase of almost 25 per cent of new car registrations in the year 2000 as many drivers had delayed buying a new car in order to get the 00 licence plate which was perceived to have a higher resale value.

Singificantly, Ireland’s car registrations have now fallen back to levels last seen in the mid-90s: almost exactly the same number of cars were registered in 2012 (79,498) as in 1994 (80,402).

Can’t see the images? Click here to view them on the AIRO site.

(Graphs: AIRO/Car photograph via Shutterstock)

Read: Motoring industry reports 11.5 per cent drop in new cars sold in 2012 >

First look: Here’s what the 2013 numberplates look like >

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