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Extra information
For more information on this release:
E-mail: transport@cso.ie Colm Hayes (+353) 21 453 5263 Carlena Kearney (+353) 21 453 5267
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, , 11am

Vehicles licensed for the first time

June 2018

 June January - June
20172018Change 20172018Change
New private cars3,5853,7161313.7% 87,34683,037-4,309-4.9%
New goods vehicles1,5641,649855.4% 14,82215,5707485.0%
Total new vehicles5,8565,9991432.4% 108,620105,177-3,443-3.2%
          
Used private cars7,0858,07398813.9% 44,94550,2725,32711.9%
Used goods vehicles1,3041,189-115-8.8% 7,2217,6364155.7%
Total used vehicles9,46010,3929329.9% 58,13263,8455,7139.8%

Decrease of 4.9% in new private cars licensed in the first half of 2018.

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

In the first half of 2018, a total of 83,037 new private cars were licensed, a decrease of 4.9% compared with the same period last year. The number of used (imported) private cars licensed rose by 11.9% compared with the same period in 2017.

In June 2018, 3,716 new private cars were licensed for the first time, an increase of 3.7% compared with June 2017. A total of 8,073 used (imported) private cars were licensed, representing an increase of 13.9% on the same month last year.

The licensing figures also show that:

  • Volkswagen (9,238) was the most popular make of new private cars licensed in the first half of 2018, followed by Toyota (8,075), Hyundai (7,837), Ford (7,473) and Nissan (6,471). Together these five makes represent (47.1%) of all new private cars licensed. See table 3. 
  • In the first half of 2018, over half (55.4%) of new private cars licensed were diesel. The remainder were 38.1% petrol and 6.5% were hybrid and electric. See table 2B. 
  • There was a 5.4% increase in the number of new goods vehicles licensed in June 2018 compared with the same period last year bringing the total to 1,649. See table 1.
  • The total number of new vehicles licensed during June 2018 was 5,999 compared with 5,856 during the same month in 2017, an increase of 2.4%.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, new private cars licensed increased by 3.6% in June 2018 compared with May 2018. The number of seasonally adjusted used (imported) private cars licensed increased by 3.5% over the same period. See table 4 and figure 4.
  • In the first half of 2018, 0.6% of imported private cars licensed were less than one year old (vehicles previously registered abroad in 2018) while 2,583 (5.1%) 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, January - June 2018
Volkswagen 11.1
Toyota 9.7
Hyundai9.4
Ford9
Nissan7.8
Other52.9
Most popular makes of new cars, January - June 2017
Volkswagen 10.4
Toyota 9.8
Hyundai 9.2
Ford 9.3
Nissan 8.4
Other52.8
Table 1: Number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation ClassJune January - June
201620172018 201620172018
New vehicles       
New private cars 4,1433,5853,716 97,49087,34683,037
New goods vehicles 2,0361,5641,649 17,13414,82215,570
New tractors 207190156 1,2751,1381,238
New motor cycles 156119125 902834835
New exempt vehicles 333250196 3,5313,4833,510
New other 143148157 992997987
Total new vehicles 7,0185,8565,999 121,324108,620105,177
       
Used (imported) vehicles       
Used private cars 5,4597,0858,073 30,77444,94550,272
Used goods vehicles 9781,3041,189 4,9037,2217,636
Used tractors 204244208 9411,3771,192
Used motorcycles 271328390 1,0211,6721,748
Used other vehicles 422499532 1,9882,9172,997
Total used vehicles 7,3349,46010,392 39,62758,13263,845
       
Total all vehicles 14,35215,31616,391 160,951166,752169,022
Table 2A: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, June 2018
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 1,1231,463341390162,775
B 3443930300740
C 35730001109
D 922000031
E 120000021
F 023000023
G 2000002
Not available015000015
Total1,5142,009341420173,716
Table 2B: Number of new private cars licensed for the first time by CO2 emission band and fuel type, January-June 2018
BandFuel TypeTotal
PetrolDieselElectricPetrol & electric hybridDiesel & electric hybridPetrol or Diesel plug-in electric hybrid
A 21,01735,1525244,316141261,422
B 9,2997,87601510017,326
C 1,0341,902023012,960
D 1445110100656
E 524270000479
F 40870000127
G 246000030
Not available235000037
Total31,61245,9965244,491141383,037
Table 3: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by make, June 2018
MakeJune January - June
NewUsed (imported)Total NewUsed (imported)Total
Audi 1236687913,2794,4287,707
BMW 1485897372,7313,8306,561
Citroen 722042767831,2041,987
Dacia 150191692,2211592,380
Fiat 375895436367803
Ford 2319321,1637,4735,90913,382
Honda 182482668601,3372,197
Hyundai 2296058347,8373,64411,481
Jaguar 264268418303721
Kia 1772684454,9701,6096,579
Land Rover 3443777422801,022
Lexus 61441502927951,087
Mazda 401351751,4848322,316
Mercedes Benz 1114485593,0812,6045,685
Mini 1291103354478832
Mitsubishi 991100460506966
Nissan 1424716136,4713,0829,553
Opel 36913703,09933,102
Peugeot 1022553573,5361,4815,017
Renault 2741794534,5471,0615,608
Seat 117902072,3765942,970
Skoda 2852134985,9871,4467,433
Ssangyong 51649857
Subaru 681411941160
Suzuki 3749867392821,021
Toyota 2675257928,0753,32311,398
Vauxhall 041641602,5482,548
Volkswagen 6071,0201,6279,2386,38515,623
Volvo 471852321,1071,2632,370
Other 3575110273470743
Total 3,7168,07311,789 83,03750,272133,309
The information in this table is available in much greater detail in Databases (see StatBank link below)
X-axis labelUnadjusted dataAdjusted dataTrend
Jun-13329367266605
Jul-13930648906824
Aug-13450454647079
Sep-13325761857365
Oct-13283269557622
Nov-13130772477810
Dec-1363976937920
Jan-141597577267953
Feb-141190674607913
Mar-141148574277830
Apr-141175782037752
May-14776777247696
Jun-14339075067680
Jul-141403772687726
Aug-14620179757849
Sep-14437681918055
Oct-14308280568351
Nov-14146588318704
Dec-14920114839057
Jan-152010593299369
Feb-151538495939616
Mar-1517054102139804
Apr-151316698509964
May-159027995710150
Jun-153924941810390
Jul-15212901068010657
Aug-1585721118210927
Sep-1559241142411202
Oct-1539431132111454
Nov-1518741143711674
Dec-158471160211869
Jan-16271061228011997
Feb-16211731254512017
Mar-16200961156111931
Apr-16148471213711772
May-16101251131911623
Jun-1641431101311566
Jul-16224621173511587
Aug-1697811195111633
Sep-1658421156111610
Oct-1638311186711483
Nov-1618461126311285
Dec-166791048111071
Jan-17266681117410896
Feb-17169051051610784
Mar-17171801096410707
Apr-17134271077910638
May-1795811057010552
Jun-173585996910432
Jul-17213161072710301
Aug-1781051011310189
Sep-1748281014810106
Oct-173255991910072
Nov-1715941000510057
Dec-176011005910043
Jan-18258131020310039
Feb-18165011024210070
Mar-1816088996510131
Apr-18115579854
May-18936210415
Jun-18371610794
Table 4: Seasonally adjusted number of vehicles licensed for the first time classified by taxation class
Taxation classJun-17May-18Jun-18Monthly % change
New vehicles    
New private cars 9,96910,41510,7943.6
New goods vehicles 1,8642,2372,084-6.8
New tractors 158160136-15.0
New motor cycles 108123118-4.1
New exempt vehicles 488534418-21.7
New other 13712814714.8
Total new vehicles 12,72413,59713,6970.7
    
Used (imported) vehicles    
Used private cars 7,4198,4898,7903.5
Used goods vehicles 1,2441,2661,171-7.5
Used tractors 1991761781.1
Used motorcycles 23526429110.2
Used other vehicles 4444924991.4
Total used vehicles 9,54110,68710,9292.3
    
Total all vehicles 22,26524,28424,6261.4
X-axis label20142015201620172018 to date
<1 year old1.61.12.11.90.6
1-2 years old15.611.113.216.716.7
3-5 years old49.650.447.849.251.7
6-9 years old24.327.729.727.325.8
Over 10 years old8.99.87.34.85.1
Table 5: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time
Private cars20112012201320142015201620172018 Jan-June
New86,93276,25671,34892,361121,110141,931127,04583,037
Used (imported) 41,14938,46949,76252,86347,21770,13892,50850,272
Total128,081114,725121,110145,224168,327212,069219,553133,309
% used (imported)32.1%33.5%41.1%36.4%28.1%33.1%42.1%37.7%

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 6: Number of new and used (imported) private cars licensed for the first time by fuel type
Fuel typeNewUsed (imported)
June January - JuneJune January - June
20172018 20172018 20172018 20172018
Petrol1,0811,514 26,69531,6121,3051,471 7,8628,547
Diesel2,3932,009 57,39645,9965,5116,071 35,72438,938
Electric1234 3715244357 197337
Hybrid99159 2,8844,905226474 1,1612,449
Other00 0000 11
Total3,5853,716 87,34683,037 7,0858,073 44,94550,272

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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