COVID-19 pandemic: This release was compiled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Users should be aware that the quality of the underlying data has been impacted by the crisis and therefore may not be directly comparable with previous periods data. For details regarding how this data has been affected See here.
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|New private cars||22,279||20,665||-1,614||-7.2%|
|New goods vehicles||2,690||2,544||-146||-5.4%|
|Total new vehicles||26,374||24,545||-1,829||-6.9%|
|Used private cars||8,131||7,683||-448||-5.5%|
|Used goods vehicles||1,313||1,302||-11||-0.8%|
|Total used vehicles||10,382||10,032||-350||-3.4%|
Electric and hybrid (alternative fuel) vehicles accounted for one fifth (20.8%) of new private cars licensed in January 2020, compared with 11.6% in the same period in 2019. See table 6.
In January 2020, 20,665 new private cars were licensed, a drop of 7.2% compared with January 2019.
The number of used (imported) private cars licensed in January 2020 was 7,683, a decrease of 5.5% when compared with January 2019.
The licensing figures also show that:
|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, January 2020|
|Most popular makes of new cars, January 2019|
|Table 1: Number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class|
|New Private Cars||25,813||22,279||20,665|
|New Goods Vehicles||3,032||2,690||2,544|
|New Motor Cycles||148||166||163|
|New Exempt Vehicles||751||772||751|
|Total New Vehicles||30,111||26,374||24,545|
|Used (imported) vehicles|
|Used private cars||8,025||8,131||7,683|
|Used goods vehicles||1,222||1,313||1,302|
|Used other vehicles||399||472||539|
|Total used vehicles||10,028||10,382||10,032|
|Total all vehicles||40,139||36,756||34,577|
|Note: All vehicles total corrected after time of publication|
|Table 2: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, January 2020|
|Petrol||Diesel||Electric||Petrol & electric hybrid||Diesel & electric hybrid||Petrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid|
|Table 3: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by make, January 2020|
|The information in this table is available in much greater detail in Databases (see StatBank link below)|
|X-axis label||Unadjusted data||Adjusted data||Trend|
|Table 4: Seasonally adjusted number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class|
|Taxation class||January 2019||December 2019||January 2020||Monthly % change|
|New private cars||9,314||9,680||8,883||-8.2|
|New goods vehicles||1,989||1,916||1,871||-2.3|
|New motor cycles||145||149||145||-2.7|
|New exempt vehicles||506||540||497||-8.0|
|Total new vehicles||12,302||12,622||11,716||-7.2|
|Used (imported) vehicles|
|Used private cars||8,415||9,470||8,044||-15.1|
|Used goods vehicles||1,301||1,242||1,291||3.9|
|Used other vehicles||550||586||625||6.7|
|Total used vehicles||10,783||11,768||10,516||-10.6|
|Total all vehicles||23,085||24,390||22,232||-8.8|
|X-axis label||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020 to date|
|<1 year old||2.1||1.9||1.9||1.7||0.1|
|1-2 years old||13.2||16.7||18.3||17.6||12.7|
|3-5 years old||47.8||49.2||50.8||50.3||51.2|
|6-9 years old||29.7||27.3||24.4||25.6||28.9|
|Over 10 years old||7.3||4.8||4.6||4.8||7.1|
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 5: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time|
|Private cars||2016||2017||2018||2019||Jan 2020|
|% used (imported)||33.1%||42.1%||45.1%||49.0%||27.1%|
|Table 6: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by fuel type|
|Fuel type||New||Used (imported)|
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.
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.
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:
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 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/
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:
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.Hide Background Notes
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