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Irish car buyers shopping abroad as figures show drop in number of new vehicles taxed during 2018

It has been suggested that drivers are buying from the UK on the back of a strong Euro.

THE NUMBER OF new cars licensed in Ireland fell last year as more consumers  registered vehicles imported from abroad, official Government figures have confirmed.

New statistics from the Department of Transport back up figures compiled by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry earlier this year, when it was suggested that more drivers are buying from the UK on the back of a strong Euro.

According to the Department’s latest bulletin of vehicle and driver statistics, 157,865 new vehicles were taxed in Ireland on 31 December 2018, a decrease of 3,975 on 2017.

However, 125,874 imported used vehicles were taxed in the Republic of Ireland in 2018, an increase of 7,856 (6.65%) on the figure for 2017.

The total number of taxed vehicles recorded on Irish roads at the end of last year was 2,717,722, an increase of 41,843 vehicles (1.56%) on the previous year.

The figure included 2,106,369 private cars – an increase of 40,257 (1.95%) compared with 2017 – as well as 355,273 goods vehicles, 75,196 agricultural tractors and 40,198 motorcycles.

In total, 36% of all taxed vehicles use petrol and 62% operate on diesel.

There were 32,083 electric and petrol vehicles taxed last year, an increase of 51.9% on 2017, and 4,825 vehicles using electric only, an increase of 65% on 2017. 

Meanwhile, 2.9 million people had current driving licences on 31 December, 2018, 91.7% of which were full licences.

An additional 240,064 people held learner permits, a decrease of 6,084 on the 2017 figure.

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