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Extra information
For more information on this release:
E-mail: transport@cso.ie Aileen O'Carroll +353 21 453 5782 Kieran Riordan +353 21 453 5320
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 November 2017, 11am

Vehicles licensed for the first time

October 2017

 October January - October
20162017Change 20162017Change
New private cars3,8313,255-576-15.0% 139,406124,850-14,556-10.4%
New goods vehicles1,9101,466-444-23.2% 26,03922,336-3,703-14.2%
Total new vehicles6,3325,340-992-15.7% 176,107157,285-18,822-10.7%
          
Used private cars6,9788,6441,66623.9%56,14777,73421,58738.4%
Used goods vehicles1,1101,24413412.1%8,76611,7813,01534.4%
Total used vehicles8,81910,7641,94522.1% 71,94999,28527,33638.0%

Decrease of 15.0% in new private cars licensed in October 2017

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

In October 2017, 3,255 new private cars were licensed, a drop of 15.0% compared with October 2016. The number of used (imported) private cars licensed increased by 23.9% compared with October 2016. 

In the first ten months of 2017, 124,850 new private cars were licensed, a decrease of 10.4% compared with the same period last year. The number of used (imported) private cars licensed increased by 38.4% compared with the same period in 2016.

The licensing figures also show that: 

  • Volkswagen (454) was the most popular make of new private cars licensed followed by Skoda (274), Ford (260), Toyota (247) and Renault (196). Together these five makes represent 44.0% of all new private cars licensed in October 2017. See table 3.
  • In the first ten months of 2017, almost two thirds (64.9%) of new private cars licensed were diesel, while 95.7% of new private cars licensed in the same period were in the A/B CO2 emissions bands. See table 2B.
  • There was a 23.2% decrease in the number of new goods vehicles licensed in October 2017 bringing the total to 1,466.
  • The total number of new vehicles licensed during October 2017 was 5,340 compared with 6,332 during the same month in 2016, a decrease of 15.7%. See table 1.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, new private cars licensed decreased by 3.4% in October 2017 compared with September 2017. The number of seasonally adjusted used (imported) private cars licensed decreased by 1.4% over the same period. See table 4 and figure 4.
  • In the first ten months of 2017, 1.4% of imported private cars licensed were less than one year old (vehicles previously registered abroad in 2017) while 3,936 (5.1%) were ten years or older. See table 5 and figure 5.
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, October 2017
Volkswagen 13.9
Skoda 8.4
Ford 8
Toyota 7.6
Renault 6
Other56
Most popular makes of new cars, October 2016
Volkswagen 13.4
Skoda 5.6
Ford 7.6
Toyota 5.9
Renault 6.7
Other60.8
Table 1: Number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation ClassOctober January - October
201520162017 201520162017
New vehicles
New private cars 3,9433,8313,255 118,389139,406124,850
New goods vehicles 1,6291,9101,466 21,07726,03922,336
New tractors 1236993 1,7561,7761,661
New motor cycles 1059281 1,1731,4361,320
New exempt vehicles 272347342 4,9345,9605,639
New other 8883103 1,2281,4901,479
Total new vehicles 6,1606,3325,340 148,557176,107157,285
       
Used (imported) vehicles       
Used private cars 4,0356,9788,644 40,14756,14777,734
Used goods vehicles 7101,1101,244 7,0968,76611,781
Used tractors 139146194 1,3841,5662,114
Used motorcycles 141204243 1,4231,8832,802
Used other vehicles 327381439 3,2143,5874,854
Total used vehicles 5,3528,81910,764 53,26471,94999,285
       
Total all vehicles 11,51215,15116,104 201,821248,056256,570
Table 2A: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, October 2017
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 6661,575351120292,417
B 2613950300659
C 24810000105
D 436000040
E 421000025
F 1500006
G 0000000
Not available0300003
Total9602,116351150293,255
Table 2B: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, January-October 2017
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 25,95565,0725994,040124495,911
B 11,61711,82701840023,628
C 7862,52807003,321
D 2037200000923
E 787860000864
F 54930000147
G 159000024
Not available032000032
Total38,70881,0675994,2311244124,850
Table 3: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by make, October 2017
MakeOctober January - October
NewUsed (imported)Total NewUsed (imported)Total
Audi 1607298895,2166,75211,968
BMW 1605997594,4434,7689,211
Citroen 342152491,3922,1233,515
Dacia 141301713,3592393,598
Fiat 31791107396191,358
Ford 2601,1111,37111,51510,64922,164
Honda 282042321,2331,9063,139
Hyundai 9754263911,0744,80715,881
Jaguar 354176627315942
Kia 1552814366,6912,3939,084
Land Rover 5439931,1282811,409
Lexus 7941014237951,218
Mazda 871392262,5261,2743,800
Mercedes Benz 963834794,5633,4478,010
Mini 30871175637981,361
Mitsubishi 1757746364461,082
Nissan 1434866299,8504,23114,081
Opel 17511766,329116,340
Peugeot 1372864233,7482,9496,697
Renault 1962033998,1581,7649,922
Seat 751011763,2959534,248
Skoda 2742475218,4401,96910,409
Ssangyong 2249513108
Subaru 971615582237
Suzuki 3859971,2824061,688
Toyota 24765289912,0825,88017,962
Vauxhall 047947925,0665,068
Volkswagen 4541,2241,67813,30910,41323,722
Volvo 861812671,6991,6243,323
Other 27861132787611,039
Total 3,2558,64411,899 124,85077,734202,584
The information in this table is available in much greater detail in Databases (see Statbank link below)
X-axis labelUnadjusted dataAdjusted dataTrend
Oct-12244263106265
Nov-12142163506194
Dec-1277485916108
Jan-131073557176046
Feb-13967159956046
Mar-131059662136110
Apr-13811361676235
May-13709564476402
Jun-13329367216595
Jul-13930648926811
Aug-13450454587063
Sep-13325761877346
Oct-13283269397601
Nov-13130772317791
Dec-1363976837908
Jan-141597577107951
Feb-141190674837921
Mar-141148574437844
Apr-141175781787768
May-14776777287708
Jun-14339074957684
Jul-141403772607722
Aug-14620179787839
Sep-14437681698044
Oct-14308280368345
Nov-14146588438706
Dec-14920114589062
Jan-152010593329376
Feb-151538496609623
Mar-1517054101909812
Apr-151316697939972
May-159027999910157
Jun-153924940110391
Jul-15212901066310648
Aug-1585721118210907
Sep-1559241136511177
Oct-1539431125611427
Nov-1518741139811645
Dec-158471161411831
Jan-16271061233411945
Feb-16211731274711957
Mar-16200961145311876
Apr-16148471200711735
May-16101251135811608
Jun-1641431111611559
Jul-16224621176011567
Aug-1697811187311576
Sep-1658421143311522
Oct-1638311171211398
Nov-1618461111711231
Dec-166791052411054
Jan-17266681125010903
Feb-17169051078110802
Mar-17171801079210729
Apr-17134271056910664
May-1795811061210589
Jun-1735851025510482
Jul-17213161074610340
Aug-17810510035
Sep-1748289984
Oct-1732559642
Table 4: Seasonally adjusted number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation classOctober 2016September 2017October 2017Monthly % change
New vehicles
New private cars 11,7129,9849,642-3.4
New goods vehicles 2,4491,9591,834-6.4
New tractors 1191491575.4
New motor cycles 123128109-14.8
New exempt vehicles 55847252110.4
New other 12112314316.3
Total new vehicles 15,08212,81512,406-3.2
    
Used (imported) vehicles    
Used private cars 7,0248,4508,331-1.4
Used goods vehicles 1,0801,1991,160-3.3
Used tractors 1682062122.9
Used motorcycles 2452632713.0
Used other vehicles 409497455-8.5
Total used vehicles 8,92610,61510,429-1.8
    
Total all vehicles 24,00823,43022,835-2.5
X-axis label20132014201520162017 to date
<1 year old1.71.61.12.11.4
1-2 years old19.515.611.113.216.3
3-5 years old52.249.650.447.849.3
6-9 years old18.724.327.729.728.1
Over 10 years old7.98.99.87.35.1
Table 5: Number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class and year
Taxation class20102011201220132014201520162017 Jan-Oct
New private cars 84,90786,93276,25671,34892,361121,110141,931124,850
Used private cars 39,10341,14938,46949,76252,86347,21770,13877,734
Total private cars124,010128,081114,725121,110145,224168,327212,069202,584
% used private cars31.5%32.1%33.5%41.1%36.4%28.1%33.1%38.4%

Footnote: For the purpose of the analysis of the age profile of used (imported) private cars, calendar years were used to band the age groups. For example, a private car defined as less than one year old is an imported vehicle which has previously been registered abroad for the first time in the current calendar year.

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.

Seasonal adjustment

Seasonal adjustment for each taxation class is conducted using a direct seasonal adjustment approach. However, the overall vehicle totals are estimated using the indirect approach, i.e. the ‘Total new vehicles’ is derived by adding all the  seasonally adjusted new vehicles taxation classes. The main reason for adopting the indirect approach is to attribute the monthly and annual changes in vehicle licensing to each of its taxation classes. Seasonal adjustment models are developed for each series based on unadjusted data spanning from July 1996 to the current period. These models are reviewed on an annual basis; however seasonal factors are updated each month.

The adjustments are completed by applying the X-13-ARIMA model, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau to the unadjusted data.  This methodology estimates seasonal factors while also taking into consideration factors that impact on the quality of the seasonal adjustment such as:

• Calendar effects, e.g. the timing of Easter,

• Outliers, temporary changes and level shifts in the series. 

For additional information on the use of X-13-ARIMA see https://www.census.gov/srd/www/winx13/

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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