Volkswagen ID.4 1ST Max
The Volkswagen ID.4 was the bestselling electric vehicle in Ireland in 2021

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released new car registrations data for Ireland in 2021 and it shows that 104,932 new cars were registered here in 2021 compared to 88,325 for the same period in 2020. This is an increase of 18.8% but remains 10% down on 2019.

The data shows that 8,646 new electric cars were registered in Ireland in 2021, compared to 4,013 in the same period in 2020 and 3,444 in 2019.

The five bestselling brands were 1. Toyota, 2. Volkswagen, 3. Hyundai, 4. Skoda, and 5. Ford.

The five bestselling cars were 1. Hyundai Tucson, 2. Toyota Corolla, 3. Toyota Yaris, 4. Volkswagen Tiguan, and 5. Toyota C-HR. The Volkswagen ID.4 was the bestselling electric vehicle in Ireland in 2021.

Diesel remains the most popular engine type despite a decline in its market share last year (9.85%), while hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid continue to gain market share in 2021.

Diesel accounted for 33.44% of the Irish new car market, petrol for 32.16%, hybrid for 16.22%, electric for 8.24%, and plug-in hybrid for 7.26%.

There were 63,617 imported used cars in Ireland in 2021, a decrease of 20.4% on 2020 (79,969) and a decrease of 44.2% on 2019 (113,926).

Manual transmissions had 51% market share, while automatic transmissions continue to increase their popularity, accounting for now 40% of the new car market in Ireland, driven by sales of new electric and hybrid cars.

The hatchback remains Ireland’s top selling car body type of 2021. Grey is the top selling colour and has continued to keep this title for the past six years. It’s followed by black in second place and blue in third place.

New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations in 2021 saw an increase of 32.3% (28,741) compared to 2020 (21,732) and +13.4% compared to 2019 (25,336).

New Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations (HGV) saw an increase of 31.5% (2,716) in comparison to 2020 (2,066) and +2.1% on 2019 (2,659).

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, said:

“The difficulties arising from both COVID and Brexit impacted on the supply and demand for cars, which made 2021 another challenging year for the Irish Motor Industry. While new car sales show a 19% increase on 2020, they remain behind 2019 levels. On a positive note, the sale of Electric Vehicles (EVs) more than doubled in 2021, and with the sale of EVs being underpinned by SEAI Grants, we can expect to see an increasing number of new EVs on Irish roads in 2022.

Commercial Vehicles sales also saw a significant improvement in 2021, with light commercial vehicles up over 30% on 2020, reflecting the increase in business confidence as the year progressed.

The Industry is hopeful that 2022 will see further improvements in business levels. Pre-orders do indicate a strong appetite for new and used cars, providing a positive outlook for our Industry and with a return to pre-pandemic 2019 new car sales levels expected.

However, even these anticipated sales will not be sufficient to reduce Ireland’s ageing car fleet. We need to see significant growth in the years ahead if we want to optimise the benefits of reduced emissions from new cars. We will see annual increases in Electric Vehicle sales, but the extent of their penetration into the fleet will not only be determined by the increased choice of EVs been supplied but also by the continuation of Government supports.”