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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 December 2017, 11am

Vehicles licensed for the first time

November 2017

 November January - November
20162017Change 20162017Change
New private cars1,8461,594-252-13.7% 141,252126,444-14,808-10.5%
New goods vehicles1,3801,172-208-15.1% 27,41923,508-3,911-14.3%
Total new vehicles3,6603,165-495-13.5% 179,767160,450-19,317-10.7%
          
Used private cars7,6218,41579410.4%63,76886,14922,38135.1%
Used goods vehicles1,1551,31816314.1%9,92113,0993,17832.0%
Total used vehicles9,60110,6101,00910.5% 81,550109,89528,34534.8%

Decrease of 13.7% in new private cars licensed in November 2017

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

In November 2017, 1,594 new private cars were licensed, a drop of 13.7% compared with November 2016. The number of used (imported) private cars licensed increased by 10.4% compared with November 2016. 

In the first eleven months of 2017, 126,444 new private cars were licensed, a decrease of 10.5% compared with the same period last year. The number of used (imported) private cars licensed increased by 35.1% compared with the same period in 2016.

The licensing figures also show that: 

  • Volkswagen (218) was the most popular make of new private cars licensed followed by Renault (159), Skoda (118), Ford (115) and Opel (108). Together these five makes represent 45.0% of all new private cars licensed in November 2017. See table 3.
  • In the first eleven 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 15.1% decrease in the number of new goods vehicles licensed in November 2017 bringing the total to 1,172.
  • The total number of new vehicles licensed during November 2017 was 3,165 compared with 3,660 during the same month in 2016, a decrease of 13.5%. See table 1.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, new private cars licensed decreased by 0.1% in November 2017 compared with October 2017. The number of seasonally adjusted used (imported) private cars licensed decreased by 2.2% over the same period. See table 4 and figure 4.
  • In the first eleven months of 2017, 1.7% of imported private cars licensed were less than one year old (vehicles previously registered abroad in 2017) while 4,232 (4.9%) 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, November 2017
Volkswagen 13.7
Renault 10
Skoda 7.4
Ford 7.2
Opel 6.8
Other55
Most popular makes of new cars, November 2016
Volkswagen 12.1
Renault 7.6
Skoda 5.2
Ford 7.2
Opel 7.4
Other60.5
Table 1: Number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation ClassNovember January - November
201520162017 201520162017
New vehicles
New private cars 1,8741,8461,594 120,263141,252126,444
New goods vehicles 1,3141,3801,172 22,39127,41923,508
New tractors 17010995 1,9261,8851,756
New motor cycles 517580 1,2241,5111,400
New exempt vehicles 190154140 5,1246,1145,779
New other 439684 1,2711,5861,563
Total new vehicles 3,6423,6603,165 152,199179,767160,450
       
Used (imported) vehicles       
Used private cars 3,9067,6218,415 44,05363,76886,149
Used goods vehicles 6601,1551,318 7,7569,92113,099
Used tractors 279193193 1,6631,7592,307
Used motorcycles 96188221 1,5192,0713,023
Used other vehicles 283444463 3,4974,0315,317
Total used vehicles 5,2249,60110,610 58,48881,550109,895
       
Total all vehicles 8,86613,26113,775 210,687261,317270,345
Table 2A: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, November 2017
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 32075919350141,147
B 1441690300316
C 1764000081
D 415000019
E 317000020
F 2400006
G 2200004
Not available0100001
Total4921,03119380141,594
Table 2B: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, January-November 2017
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 26,27565,8316184,075125897,058
B 11,76111,99601870023,944
C 8032,59207003,402
D 2077350000942
E 818030000884
F 56970000153
G 1711000028
Not available033000033
Total39,20082,0986184,2691258126,444
Table 3: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by make, November 2017
MakeNovember January - November
NewUsed (imported)Total NewUsed (imported)Total
Audi 1066978035,3227,44912,771
BMW 325335654,4755,3019,776
Citroen 222182401,4142,3413,755
Dacia 73311043,4322703,702
Fiat 26741007656931,458
Ford 1151,0991,21411,63011,74823,378
Honda 91922011,2422,0983,340
Hyundai 3756159811,1115,36816,479
Jaguar 72936634344978
Kia 902643546,7812,6579,438
Land Rover 2251731,1503321,482
Lexus 51241294289191,347
Mazda 381321702,5641,4063,970
Mercedes Benz 463994454,6093,8468,455
Mini 20981185838961,479
Mitsubishi 1070806465161,162
Nissan 784835619,9284,71414,642
Opel 10811096,437126,449
Peugeot 452653103,7933,2147,007
Renault 1591963558,3171,96010,277
Seat 341071413,3291,0604,389
Skoda 1182213398,5582,19010,748
Ssangyong 0009513108
Subaru 34715886244
Suzuki 1848661,3004541,754
Toyota 8562971412,1676,50918,676
Vauxhall 047747725,5435,545
Volkswagen 2181,1681,38613,52711,58125,108
Volvo 541782321,7531,8023,555
Other 1666822948271,121
Total 1,5948,41510,009 126,44486,149212,593
The information in this table is available in much greater detail in Databases (see Statbank link below)
X-axis labelUnadjusted dataAdjusted dataTrend
Nov-12142163516194
Dec-1277485926107
Jan-131073557176046
Feb-13967159946046
Mar-131059662136110
Apr-13811361656235
May-13709564476402
Jun-13329367236596
Jul-13930648936812
Aug-13450454587063
Sep-13325761877346
Oct-13283269397601
Nov-13130772307790
Dec-1363976817906
Jan-141597577087949
Feb-141190674827920
Mar-141148574427844
Apr-141175781777768
May-14776777287708
Jun-14339074997684
Jul-141403772657722
Aug-14620179807839
Sep-14437681708043
Oct-14308280368344
Nov-14146588408703
Dec-14920114549060
Jan-152010593279373
Feb-151538496589620
Mar-1517054101889808
Apr-151316697929969
May-159027999910155
Jun-153924941010392
Jul-15212901067110650
Aug-1585721118810910
Sep-1559241137311177
Oct-1539431126511423
Nov-1518741136511635
Dec-158471160311818
Jan-16271061232111931
Feb-16211731274111946
Mar-16200961145011870
Apr-16148471200711735
May-16101251136211615
Jun-1641431112911572
Jul-16224621177211581
Aug-1697811188611587
Sep-1658421144911525
Oct-1638311173311390
Nov-1618461104611215
Dec-166791050611032
Jan-17266681123410882
Feb-17169051077310788
Mar-17171801078910723
Apr-17134271057110667
May-1795811062010592
Jun-1735851026910485
Jul-17213161076010349
Aug-1781051005110185
Sep-17482810007
Oct-1732559673
Nov-1715949662
Table 4: Seasonally adjusted number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation classNovember 2016October 2017November 2017Monthly % change
New vehicles
New private cars 11,0469,6739,662-0.1
New goods vehicles 2,1991,8311,8943.4
New tractors 137152127-16.4
New motor cycles 12811113420.7
New exempt vehicles 452514444-13.6
New other 1711451460.7
Total new vehicles 14,13312,42612,407-0.2
    
Used (imported) vehicles    
Used private cars 7,3128,2388,054-2.2
Used goods vehicles 1,0681,1661,2224.8
Used tractors 189210191-9.0
Used motorcycles 2462742916.2
Used other vehicles 4524544703.5
Total used vehicles 9,26710,34210,228-1.1
    
Total all vehicles 23,40022,76822,635-0.6
X-axis label20132014201520162017 to date
<1 year old1.71.61.12.11.7
1-2 years old19.515.611.113.216.5
3-5 years old52.249.650.447.849.3
6-9 years old18.724.327.729.727.7
Over 10 years old7.98.99.87.34.9
Table 5: Number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class and year
Taxation class20102011201220132014201520162017 Jan-Nov
New private cars 84,90786,93276,25671,34892,361121,110141,931126,444
Used private cars 39,10341,14938,46949,76252,86347,21770,13886,149
Total private cars124,010128,081114,725121,110145,224168,327212,069212,593
% used private cars31.5%32.1%33.5%41.1%36.4%28.1%33.1%40.5%

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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