New car sales are strong but slower than 2016

There were 91,185 new car sales in the first half of 2017 which is a decline of 10% when compared to vehicles sold during the first half of 2016.

This is according to a review by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) in association with DoneDeal.

For the first seven months of the year new car registrations totalled 118,925 and in July, there was a total of 27,748 new cars registered.

Imported cars, 97% of which are from the UK, made up a significant part of the overall car market. During the first half of the year, 46,004 used cars were imported, which represented an increase of 42.6% compared to the first half of 2016.

Nearly half (49%) of all imported used cars during this period were five years or older, while the diesel share of used imports is just over 79%.

For the first six months of the year, new car sales declined in every county, with Donegal experiencing the largest decline at 18.6%, while Cavan had the smallest decline of 4.4%.

The review highlighted that a combination of factors, including rising housing, rental and health insurance costs, and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, were affecting disposable income spending.

Economist and author of the report Jim Power said that “financial pressures” contributed to a drop in sales compared with 2016.

“As we move into the second half of the year, all of the factors that influenced the motor trade in the first half will remain relevant,” said Mr Power.

“Economic growth will be supportive, but financial pressures on consumers and the uncertainty around Brexit are likely to continue to weigh on big-ticket items such as new cars.


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