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Extra information
For more information on this release:
E-mail: transport@cso.ie Noreen Leahy +353 21 453 5262 Esther Deane +353 21 453 5322
For general information on CSO statistics:
information@cso.ie (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit StatCentral.ie, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-5678
CSO statistical release, 08 September 2017, 11am

Vehicles licensed for the first time

August 2017

 August January - August
20162017Change 20162017Change
New private cars9,7818,105-1,676-17.1% 129,733116,767-12,966-10.0%
New goods vehicles2,3932,080-313-13.1% 22,08719,171-2,916-13.2%
Total new vehicles13,35211,226-2,126-15.9% 161,156144,726-16,430-10.2%
          
Used private cars6,1358,2202,08534.0%42,54660,76318,21742.8%
Used goods vehicles8881,06918120.4%6,7069,3962,69040.1%
Total used vehicles7,82610,3252,49931.9% 54,83478,13523,30142.5%

Decrease of 17.1% in new private cars licensed in August 2017

Figure 1 VLFTM - New private cars licensed for the first time
go to full release

In August 2017, 8,105 new private cars were licensed for the first time, a decrease of 17.1% compared with August 2016. A total of 8,220 used (imported) private cars were licensed, representing a rise of 34.0% on the same month last year.

In the first eight months of 2017, 116,767 new private cars were licensed, a decrease of 10.0% compared with the same period last year. The number of used (imported) private cars licensed increased by 42.8% compared with the same period in 2016.

The licensing figures also show that: 

  • Volkswagen (847) was the most popular make of new private cars licensed in August 2017, followed by Ford (774), Toyota (698), Skoda (640) and Nissan (551). Together these five makes represent 43.3% of all new private cars licensed. See table 3.
  • In the first eight months of 2017, 75,795 (64.9%) new private cars licensed were diesel, while 95.8% of new private cars licensed in the same period were in the A/B CO2 emissions bands. See table 2B.
  • The total number of vehicles licensed during August 2017 was 21,551 compared with 21,178 during the same month in 2016, an increase of 1.8%. See table 1.
  • There was a 13.1% decrease in the number of new goods vehicles licensed in August 2017 bringing the total to 2,080.
Licensing and registration are different processes. A vehicle is licensed when a valid motor tax disc is issued for the first time whereas registration occurs when a vehicle gets its licence plate (registration number) for the first time.
Most popular makes of new cars, August 2017
Volkswagen 10.5
Ford 9.5
Toyota 8.6
Skoda 7.9
Nissan 6.8
Other56.7
Most popular makes of new cars, August 2016
Volkswagen 11.2
Ford 9.7
Toyota 8.4
Skoda 6.8
Nissan 6.7
Other57.2
Table 1: Number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation ClassAugust January - August
201520162017 201520162017
New vehicles
New Private Cars 8,5729,7818,105 108,522129,733116,767
New Goods Vehicles 1,9272,3932,080 17,76722,08719,171
New Tractors 147156147 1,5051,6221,463
New Motor Cycles 106141129 9771,2481,135
New Exempt Vehicles 428736638 4,2615,1834,919
New Other 131145127 1,0421,2831,271
Total New Vehicles 11,31113,35211,226 134,074161,156144,726
       
Used (imported) vehicles       
Used private cars 3,6666,1358,220 32,36942,54660,763
Used goods vehicles 6028881,069 5,7186,7069,396
Used tractors 132166199 1,1421,2721,749
Used motorcycles 127216318 1,1511,4862,303
Used other vehicles 326421519 2,5642,8243,924
Total used vehicles 4,8537,82610,325 42,94454,83478,135
       
Total all vehicles 16,16421,17821,551 177,018215,990222,861
Table 2A: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, August 2017
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 1,7174,017652750466,120
B 630909010001,549
C 912010100293
D 869000077
E 744000051
F 65000011
G 2000002
Not available0200002
Total2,4615,247652860468,105
Table 2B: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, January-August 2017
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 24,26461,1635143,777118289,901
B 11,02910,81201730022,014
C 7342,33404003,072
D 1626490000811
E 707250000795
F 49800000129
G 137000020
Not available025000025
Total36,32175,7955143,9541182116,767
Table 3: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by make, August 2017
MakeAugust January - August
NewUsed (imported)Total NewUsed (imported)Total
Audi 4457021,1474,7955,26110,056
BMW 1824996814,0963,6967,792
Citroen 652533181,3251,6823,007
Dacia 292323243,0331763,209
Fiat 65721376774631,140
Ford 7741,0921,86610,9278,42219,349
Honda 861842701,1371,4842,621
Hyundai 4825311,01310,7793,68714,466
Jaguar 413172545240785
Kia 4312636946,3251,8378,162
Land Rover 99281271,0052041,209
Lexus 28821103946171,011
Mazda 1961363322,3341,0123,346
Mercedes Benz 3173636804,2612,7236,984
Mini 51771284946311,125
Mitsubishi 434689595344939
Nissan 5514511,0029,4763,27512,751
Opel 46604665,88695,895
Peugeot 3373006373,4252,4005,825
Renault 4742096837,6561,3809,036
Seat 217913083,1007423,842
Skoda 6402218617,7031,4819,184
Ssangyong 819861096
Subaru 15132813867205
Suzuki 112391511,1693041,473
Toyota 6986361,33411,4654,60816,073
Vauxhall 051551524,0884,090
Volkswagen 8471,1121,95912,1758,06420,239
Volvo 1111692801,5391,2592,798
Other 3272104225597822
Total 8,1058,22016,325 116,76760,763177,530
The information in this table is available in much greater detail in Databases (see Statbank link below)

Background Notes

Source

The vehicle licensing figures are compiled from data supplied by the Driver and Vehicle Computer Services Division of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. The data provide details on the number of private cars, goods vehicles, motor cycles and other vehicles licensed for the first time in each city and county council, classified by make and size, during a given month.

History

The release titled 'Vehicles Licensed for the First Time' commenced in January 1993. It replaced the series previously published as 'Particulars of Vehicles Registered and Licensed for the First Time'.

In January 1993, separate systems for vehicle registration and licensing were introduced. The Office of the Revenue Commissioners became responsible for the compilation of vehicle registrations while the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government retained responsibility for vehicle licensing. In January 2008, responsibility for vehicle licensing was transferred to the Department of Transport (which later became the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport).

Motor tax charges are determined on the basis of CO2 emission level (using seven CO2 bands) for all new cars registered from 1 July 2008.

The licensing process where applicable follows the registration process.

Vehicle Licensing versus Vehicle Registration

The CSO produces vehicle licensing statistics on a monthly basis. Vehicle registration data has not been published on the CSO statbank since June 2010.

Registration and licensing figures may differ in a given month for a number of reasons, some of which are outlined below:

  • Vehicles which under the previous system would have been licensed in the latter part of a particular month may not now be licensed until a later month because of the time lapse between registration and first licensing.
  • Registered vehicles which are not used in a public place (e.g. tractors for use exclusively on the land) may not need to be licensed.

The question is often asked, which reflects better vehicle sales, licensing figures or registration figures?

In practice, on a monthly basis, the licensing data is probably a better reflection of sales. In some cases, a vehicle may be registered by a dealership in advance of a sale. Whereas, typically, vehicles are only licensed at the point of sale. However, if a vehicle is purchased towards the end of a month, the buyer may wish to defer collecting and licensing it until the start of the following month. So the issue is not clear-cut.

From 31 October 1999, detailed information on agricultural vehicles is no longer published in accordance with Commission Decision 92/157/EEC as upheld on 28 May 1998.

Definitions

Private cars:  The term 'private cars' in this release, refers to privately licensed vehicles which include hire, fleet and certain commercial vehicles.

New and used vehicles:  The term 'new vehicles' refers to new vehicles which are licensed for use in a public place, in this country, for the first time. 'Used vehicles' refers to used vehicles which are licensed for use in a public place, in this country, for the first time. In the main used vehicles are imported.

Exempt:  The term 'exempt vehicles' in this release, refers to vehicles which are licensed for the first time but are exempt from liability to pay road tax.

Exempt vehicles can be divided into four main categories:

  • State-owned
  • Diplomatic
  • Fire services
  • Disabled Drivers

Electric hybrid:  means a vehicle that derives its motive power from a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine and is capable of being driven on electric propulsion alone for a material part of its normal driving cycle.

Plug-in electric hybrid:  means a vehicle that derives its motive power from a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, where the electric motor derives its power from a battery that may be charged from the internal combustion engine and an alternating current (AC) electric mains supply and is capable of being driven on electric propulsion alone for a material part of its normal driving cycle.

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