Volkswagen ID.3 arriving at Dublin Port
Volkswagen ID.3 was the bestselling car in September

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released their official new vehicle registrations statistics for the month of September and reiterated their call to Government to reduce Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) in the upcoming Budget.

The Society claims a reduction in VRT would protect the 40,000 people employed in the Industry, sustain business, stimulate new car sales while helping to decrease emissions from transport and protect Exchequer Revenues. With a new taxation system for new cars tested under WLTP from January 2021, any increase in VRT would have dire consequences for the sector, already struggling in the context of both COVID and BREXIT. SIMI say it would make new cars considerably more expensive, reducing demand and would see thousands of job losses and business closures.

New car registrations for the month of September saw an increase of 66.3% (5,685) when compared to September 2019 (3,418). While total registrations year to date are down 25.8% (84,535) on the same period last year (113,945).

The bestselling car brands so far in 2020 are 1. Volkswagen, 2. Toyota, 3. Hyundai, 4. Skoda and 5. Ford.

The top five bestselling cars so far in 2020 are 1. Toyota Corolla, 2. Hyundai Tucson, 3. Volkswagen Tiguan, 4. Ford Focus and 5. Hyundai Kona.

The bestselling car in September 2020 was the new Volkswagen ID.3.

So far in 2020 diesel accounts for 43.02% of the new car market, petrol for 37.29%, hybrid for 12.08%, electric for 4.28%, and plug-in hybrid for 2.74%

Light Commercials vehicles (LCV) are up 67.4% (2,240) compared to September last year (1,338) and year to date are down 18.6% (18,930). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 12.5% (162) in comparison to September 2019 (144). However, year to date HGVs are down 23.6% (1,795).

Used car imports for September (9,522) have seen a decrease of 6.8% on September 2019 (10,221). While year to date imports are down 40.3% (49,190) on 2019 (82,435).

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, said: “September represents the first month this year to see an increase for new vehicle registrations, which can be attributed to catch up from the previous eight months of declining sales. Year to date, a far more accurate barometer, sees a reduction for the fourth consecutive year leaving new car sales at recessionary levels, merely 50% of what we should be achieving in a normal functioning new car market.

January 2021 will see a taxation change for our Industry, the biggest change to VRT and Road Tax since 2008. The 2008 change coincided with the recession, causing a collapse in the new and used car market with close to 15,000 jobs lost. With the duel threat arising from COVID and BREXIT, we simply cannot have the same destabilisation of the car market again. A more burdensome VRT regime will undermine both the new and used car markets, making new cars more expensive, impacting on used car values and slowing our fleet renewal. This will inevitably lead to a fall in employment and undermine viable family businesses. What we need to see in the Budget is a taxation reduction that will support the new car market and which will be environmentally positive. This will protect jobs, businesses, renew our fleet and reduce emissions.”