The Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show that 6,953 new private cars were licensed in July, down almost 1% compared with July last year.
There was a 2.8% rise in the number of new goods vehicles licensed year on year in July, but elsewhere the figures were down, with a slight fall of 0.6% in the total number of all new vehicles licensed. The total number of all vehicles, new and old, licensed in July was down 3.1% compared with the same month last year.
However, taking the comparative six month periods from January to July this year and last, there were increases in the number of new private cars, new goods vehicles and all new vehicles licensed.
The most recent monthly figures come after the end of the Government scrappage scheme earlier this year, and also indicate that more people are buying diesel cars.
Earlier this week, Conor Faughnan of AA Roadwatch said there had been a significant increase in the number of diesel cars being driven on Irish roads, as diesel cars are still cheaper to run at a time of rising fuel costs.
The latest CSO figures show that, of the 6,953 new private cars licensed in July, 4,972 were diesel, accounting for 71.5% of the total. Of the new cars licensed, Ford led the way with more than 1,000, followed by 930 Volkswagens, 680 Opels and 678 Toyotas. Down the list, 158 Mercedes-Benz were licensed as well as 24 new Lexus cars.
Taking the six month period from January to July this year, it seems high end cars are still making it onto the roads, with 2,138 Mercedes-Benz (1,607 new) and 460 Lexus cars (363 new) being licensed.
The number of electric and hybrid cars being licensed remains low as a percentage of the overall total.