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Extra information
For more information on this release:
E-mail: transport@cso.ie Colm Hayes (+353) 21 453 5263 Carlena Kearney (+353) 21 453 5267
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, , 11am

Vehicles licensed for the first time

July 2018

 July January - July
20172018Change 20172018Change
New private cars21,31620,743-573-2.7% 108,662103,780-4,882-4.5%
New goods vehicles2,2692,50723810.5% 17,09118,0779865.8%
Total new vehicles24,88024,907270.1% 133,500130,084-3,416-2.6%
          
Used private cars7,5988,2026047.9% 52,54358,4745,93111.3%
Used goods vehicles1,1061,33723120.9% 8,3278,9736467.8%
Total used vehicles9,67810,6279499.8% 67,81074,4726,6629.8%

Decrease of 2.7% in new private cars licensed in July 2018

Vehicles licensed for the first time July 2018 Figure 1
go to full release

In July 2018, 20,743 new private cars were licensed for the first time, a decrease of 2.7% compared with July 2017. A total of 8,202 used (imported) private cars were licensed, representing an increase of 7.9% on the same month last year.

In the first seven months 2018, a total of 103,780 new private cars were licensed, a decrease of 4.5% compared with the same period last year. The number of used (imported) private cars licensed rose by 11.3% compared with the same period in 2017.

The licensing figures also show that:

  • Toyota (2,287) was the most popular make of new private cars licensed in July 2018, followed by Volkswagen (2,240), Hyundai (2,160), Nissan (1,644) and Ford (1,526). Together these five makes represent (47.5%) of all new private cars licensed. See table 3. 
  • In the first seven months of 2018, over half (54.0%) of new private cars licensed were diesel, while 94.8% of new private cars licensed in the same period were in the A/B CO2 emissions bands. See table 2B. 
  • There was a 10.5% increase in the number of new goods vehicles licensed in July 2018 compared with the same period last year bringing the total to 2,507. See table 1.
  • The total number of new vehicles licensed during July 2018 was 24,907 compared with 24,880 during the same month in 2017, an increase of 0.1%.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, new private cars licensed decreased by 3.8% in July 2018 compared with June 2018. The number of seasonally adjusted used (imported) private cars licensed decreased by 4.1% over the same period. See table 4 and figure 4.
  • In the first seven months of 2018, 0.8% of imported private cars licensed were less than one year old (vehicles previously registered abroad in 2018) while 2,955 (5.1%) were ten years or older. See table 5 and figure 5.
  • There were 56,052 new diesel private cars licensed in the first seven months of 2018, compared with 70,548 in the same period in 2017. For used (imported) diesel private cars, the total licensed was 45,020 in the first seven months of 2018. This compares with 41,731 in the same period last year. See table 6.
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 July 2018
Toyota 11
Volkswagen 10.8
Hyundai 10.4
Nissan 7.9
Ford 7.4
Other52.5
Most popular makes of new cars July 2017
Toyota 10.3
Volkswagen 10.5
Hyundai 10.7
Nissan 7.3
Ford 9.3
Other51.9
Table 1: Number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation ClassJuly January - July
201620172018 201620172018
New vehicles       
New private cars 22,46221,31620,743 119,952108,662103,780
New goods vehicles 2,5602,2692,507 19,69417,09118,077
New tractors 191178210 1,4661,3161,448
New motor cycles 205172209 1,1071,0061,044
New exempt vehicles 916798954 4,4474,2814,464
New other 146147284 1,1381,1441,271
Total new vehicles 26,48024,88024,907 147,804133,500130,084
       
Used (imported) vehicles       
Used private cars 5,6377,5988,202 36,41152,54358,474
Used goods vehicles 9151,1061,337 5,8188,3278,973
Used tractors 165173194 1,1061,5501,386
Used motorcycles 249313331 1,2701,9852,079
Used other vehicles 415488563 2,4033,4053,560
Total used vehicles 7,3819,67810,627 47,00867,81074,472
       
Total all vehicles 33,86134,55835,534 194,812201,310204,556
Table 2A: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, July 2018
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 5,9277,5412921,421012515,306
B 2,5371,753053004,343
C 2644410400709
D 372040000241
E 1377000090
F 927000036
G 4100005
Not available112000013
Total8,79210,0562921,478012520,743
Table 2B: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, January-July 2018
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 26,94442,6938165,737153776,728
B 11,8369,62902040021,669
C 1,2982,343027013,669
D 1817150100897
E 655040000569
F 491140000163
G 287000035
Not available347000050
Total40,40456,0528165,9691538103,780
Table 3: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by make, July 2018
MakeJuly January - July
NewUsed (imported)Total NewUsed (imported)Total
Audi 7597351,4944,0385,1639,201
BMW 6336141,2473,3644,4447,808
Citroen 1762013779591,4052,364
Dacia 482265082,7031852,888
Fiat 12269191558436994
Ford 1,5269772,5038,9996,88615,885
Honda 1693194881,0291,6562,685
Hyundai 2,1605412,7019,9974,18514,182
Jaguar 8855143506358864
Kia 1,1802981,4786,1501,9078,057
Land Rover 104441488463241,170
Lexus 1131242374059191,324
Mazda 3201404601,8049722,776
Mercedes Benz 4064718773,4873,0756,562
Mini 96831794505611,011
Mitsubishi 129852145895911,180
Nissan 1,6444872,1318,1153,56911,684
Opel 1,08311,0844,18244,186
Peugeot 9312261,1574,4671,7076,174
Renault 1,3551571,5125,9021,2187,120
Seat 712948063,0886883,776
Skoda 1,5012111,7127,4881,6579,145
Ssangyong 12315611172
Subaru 2393214250192
Suzuki 159442038983261,224
Toyota 2,2875732,86010,3623,89614,258
Vauxhall 038038002,9282,928
Volkswagen 2,2409663,20611,4787,35118,829
Volvo 2781764541,3851,4392,824
Other 5593148328563891
Total 20,7438,20228,945 103,78058,474162,254
The information in this table is available in much greater detail in Databases (see StatBank link below)
X-axis labelUnadjusted dataAdjusted dataTrend
Jul-13930648946826
Aug-13450454677080
Sep-13325761857366
Oct-13283269607621
Nov-13130772487809
Dec-1363976917917
Jan-141597577267949
Feb-141190674587910
Mar-141148574177829
Apr-141175781977752
May-14776777227699
Jun-14339075307685
Jul-141403772767733
Aug-14620179797856
Sep-14437681998062
Oct-14308280658356
Nov-14146588338708
Dec-14920114919059
Jan-152010593269366
Feb-151538495839605
Mar-1517054101989784
Apr-151316698329939
May-159027994410123
Jun-153924946310369
Jul-15212901071110648
Aug-1585721119210931
Sep-1559241144511216
Oct-1539431133911472
Nov-1518741145011688
Dec-158471161411870
Jan-16271061226111980
Feb-16211731251411987
Mar-16200961153011895
Apr-16148471208511744
May-16101251127711612
Jun-1641431101211576
Jul-16224621184911616
Aug-1697811197611671
Sep-1658421158311645
Oct-1638311187711505
Nov-1618461127111289
Dec-166791047611057
Jan-17266681114310862
Feb-17169051046510732
Mar-17171801090410642
Apr-17134271070510574
May-1795811048710502
Jun-173585989110405
Jul-17213161095810297
Aug-1781051012610200
Sep-1748281015210121
Oct-173255991610078
Nov-171594999010046
Dec-176011003010013
Jan-18258131015410000
Feb-18165011016810022
Mar-1816088988410059
Apr-1811557976110116
May-18936210275
Jun-18371610604
Jul-182074310201
Table 4: Seasonally adjusted number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation classJul-17Jun-18Jul-18Monthly % change
New vehicles    
New private cars 10,95810,60410,201-3.8
New goods vehicles 2,0342,0922,1613.3
New tractors 15413717326.3
New motor cycles 11411913311.8
New exempt vehicles 47242852723.1
New other 11815321540.5
Total new vehicles 13,85013,53313,410-0.9
    
Used (imported) vehicles    
Used private cars 7,8608,6248,274-4.1
Used goods vehicles 1,1391,1871,32111.3
Used tractors 1751791885.0
Used motorcycles 268289267-7.6
Used other vehicles 4534995030.8
Total used vehicles 9,89510,77810,553-2.1
    
Total all vehicles 23,74524,31123,963-1.4
X-axis label20142015201620172018 to date
<1 year old1.61.12.11.90.8
1-2 years old15.611.113.216.717.0
3-5 years old49.650.447.849.251.5
6-9 years old24.327.729.727.325.6
Over 10 years old8.99.87.34.85.1
Table 5: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time
Private cars20112012201320142015201620172018 Jan-July
New86,93276,25671,34892,361121,110141,931127,045103,780
Used (imported) 41,14938,46949,76252,86347,21770,13892,50858,474
Total128,081114,725121,110145,224168,327212,069219,553162,254
% used (imported)32.1%33.5%41.1%36.4%28.1%33.1%42.1%36.0%

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.

Table 6: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by fuel type
Fuel typeNewUsed (imported)
July January - JulyJuly January - July
20172018 20172018 20172018 20172018
Petrol7,1658,792 33,86040,4041,3321,539 9,19410,086
Diesel13,15210,056 70,54856,0526,0076,082 41,73145,020
Electric78292 4498164148 238385
Hybrid9211,603 3,8056,508218532 1,3792,981
Other00 0001 12
Total21,31620,743 108,662103,780 7,5988,202 52,54358,474

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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