Official statistics released today by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that total new car registrations for the month of February were steady. The month finished with 17,081 new cars registered compared to 17,089 in February 2017.

New cars registrations year to date are down 3.5% on the same period last year at 54,143 vs 56,092 in 2017.

The Commercial Vehicle sector showed a mixed result between Light and Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations. New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations were up 6.13% (2,634) on February 2017 (2,487) and year to date are up 6% (9,356).

New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) have declined 10% for the month of February (243) compared to the same month last year (270) and are down 11% (646) year to date.

Used car imports have increased by 14.4% in February 2018 (8,903), and year to date are 17.3% (17,964) ahead of 2017 (15,317).

Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, said “New car registrations for the month of February delivered a steady performance when compared with the same month last year, however registrations overall remaining 3.5% down year to date. The increase in the light commercial vehicle sector reflects the strong economic growth for businesses, particularly in the local economy, while HGVs which may be more impacted by Brexit concerns, remain down 11%. The Brexit impact is also visible in the continued growth in used car imports which were 15.7% up in February.”

Diesel market share is continuing to move back toward more traditional levels in new car sales, having reached an artificially high peak of 73% in 2014. So far in 2018, diesel accounts for 57% of the market. As a consequence of this shift, the average CO2 emissions for new cars registered this year have increased by 2.1%.”

What were the bestselling brands and models?

The top five bestselling car brands so far in 2018 are Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Ford and Nissan.

The top five bestselling car model’s so far in 2018 are the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf.

The bestselling car in February 2018 was the Skoda Octavia.

Audi is Ireland’s bestselling premium brand, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the best selling premium car so far in 2018.