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Motor Trades

Motor Trades

The growing trend towards hybrid and electric cars continues

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Motor Trades Key Variables

Motor Trades (G45) had 9,372 active enterprises in 2020. These enterprises generated more than €13.8 billion in turnover and had more than 36,100 persons engaged. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employing fewer than 250 persons, accounted for €13.4 billion or 97.1% of the total turnover.

X-axis labelLarge (250+ persons engaged)SMEs (<250 persons engaged)
Active Enterprises0.199.9
Persons Engaged5.794.3
Gross Value Added3.496.6

The number of enterprises engaged in the sale of motor vehicles (2,224) accounted for less than a quarter (23.7%) of the total number of enterprises in Motor Trades in 2020. These enterprises generated €8.5 billion in turnover (61.2%), and almost half (45.3%) of all persons engaged in Motor Trades were employed in the sale of motor vehicles. 

Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles had the highest number of enterprises (5,945) in Motor Trades in 2020, accounting for 63.4% of the total number of enterprises in the sector. These enterprises generated less than a quarter (24.6%) of turnover in the sector and had more than 13,600 (37.6%) persons engaged.

X-axis labelSale, maintenance and repair of motorcycles and related parts and accessories (G45.4)Sale of motor vehicle parts and accessories (G45.3) Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles (G45.2)Sale of motor vehicles (G45.1)
Active Enterprises1.411.563.423.7
Persons Engaged0.716.337.745.3
Gross Value Added0.615.827.755.8
4.1 Motors trades by size class and key variables, 2020

Breakdown of Business Costs

The Motor Trades sector purchased €12.1 billion of goods and services in 2020. Purchases of Goods for resale accounted for the largest business cost at €11.4 billion or 87.1% of total costs, followed by Labour costs (Wages & salaries and Social security costs) at 7.0%.

Business Costs
Wages & salaries6.4
Purchases of
goods for resale
Indirect taxes0.2
4.2 Breakdown of Business Costs for Motor Trades, 2020

Number of new cars licensed making a recovery following COVID-19

The number of new private cars licensed in Ireland in 2022 was 101,349, which indicated a continuing recovery in the new car market following the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the years from 2014 to 2019 an average of 119,485 new cars were licensed per year. At 84,309, the number of cars licensed in 2020 was 29.4% lower than this average. In 2022 this had recovered somewhat to more than 101,300 but was still 15% below the pre-COVID-19 average (2020).

Number of New Private cars licensed for the first timeAnnual % change
4.3 New Private Cars licensed for the first time, 2014 - 2022

Hyundai Tucson replaces Toyota Corolla as most popular new car

The most popular new car in Ireland in 2022 was the Hyundai Tucson with almost 5,900 units sold, an increase of 18.7% compared with 2021 when more than 4,900 were sold. In 2021, Hyundai Tucson replaced the Toyota Corolla as the most popular model.

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Toyota Yaris4754
Toyota Corolla4044
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Toyota Corrolla4161
Toyota Yaris2718
4.4 Top Selling New Private Cars, 2019 - 2022

Fuel types of new cars licensed

Cars using internal combustion engines exclusively still dominated the market in 2022, accounting for 57% of all new private cars licensed. However, there was a significant decrease (-21%) in the number of new diesel cars licensed, down from 34,396 in 2021 to 27,188 in 2022, while there was an 81% increase in the number of new electric cars licensed from 8,554 in 2021 to 15,462 in 2022.

The number of petrol and diesel cars accounted for 87% of the market in 2019. While the number of hybrid and electric cars accounted for just 13% of the market in 2019, this had increased almost threefold from 14,343 in 2019 to 42,817 in 2022, representing 42% of all new car sales.

Figure 4.5 New Private Cars licensed by fuel type, 2019 - 2022
4.5 New Private Cars licensed by fuel type, 2019 - 2022