The Nissan LEAF is a strong seller in the growing electric vehicle segment

New Car Registrations In Ireland January 2019

The Nissan LEAF is a strong seller in the growing electric vehicle segment
The Nissan LEAF is a strong seller in the growing electric vehicle segment

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has issued the official 191 new vehicle registration figures for January 2019. The figures show that for the month of January, new car registrations are down 12.6% (32,374) when compared to January 2018 (37,023).

It’s a similar story for Light Commercials, which are down 16.3% (5,650) compared to January last year (6,753), and HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are also down 11.4% (356) in comparison to January 2018 (402).

Electric vehicle registrations have increased significantly with 811 registrations in January 2019, which is more than for the whole of 2017 and over 60% of the total for the whole of last year. While electric vehicle numbers are still relatively low, they are showing strong growth having increased from less than 1% of the market last year to 2.6% market share in January this year which is an encouraging increase in the right direction.

Diesel continues to be the market leader in 2019 with a 49% share despite an 8% decline on January 2018.

Petrol has grown to 40% and hybrids currently account for 7% of the new car market.

The five bestselling car brands in Ireland in January 2019 were 1.Hyundai, 2.Volkswagen, 3.Ford, 4.Toyota and 5.Nissan.

The five bestselling cars in Ireland in January 2019 were 1.Hyundai Tucson, 2.Nissan Qashqai, 3.Ford Focus, 4.Toyota Yaris, and 5.Skoda Octavia.

Brian Cooke, Director General Designate, SIMI commented: “New Vehicle Registrations in January are clearly disappointing but not surprising. With Brexit fast approaching adding to business uncertainty, the weakness of Sterling is continuing to drive down used car values which is increasing the cost to change. While we hope the EU and UK’s negotiations result in agreement that allows for free trade, the likelihood of no deal is increasing by the day. While the Industry is ramping up its preparations for a no deal Brexit, in the context of the potential impact on a sector whose activity will be in the region of €5 billion between now and the end of the year, it is crucial that the State fully clarifies the trading conditions in the event of no agreement being reached. This is an immediate issue as we may be only 8 weeks away from a no deal outcome. More positively the increase in EV sales in the second half of last year has further accelerated into January, with the total EV registrations of 811 representing nearly two-thirds of EV sales for the whole of last year.”

The Volkswagen Golf 1.5-litre TSI

Volkswagen Golf Gets New Petrol Engine

The Volkswagen Golf 1.5-litre TSI
The Volkswagen Golf 1.5-litre TSI R-line

The Volkswagen Golf 1.5-litre TSI with 150hp is now available in Ireland for 2019.

The new four cylinder, turbo petrol engine replaces the previous 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine. The engine is 22kg lighter than before and features Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) that shuts down the second and third cylinders under low/medium load to improve fuel efficiency.

The new Golf 1.5-litre TSI is capable of returning from 6.2 l/100km (WLTP) on the combined cycle the car with a manual gearbox and 6.5 l/100km with the DSG automatic transmission.

CO2 emissions of from 141g/km with a manual transmission and 147g/km with DSG place it in Motor Tax Band A4 (€200).

In Ireland, the new Volkswagen Golf 1.5-litre TSI is available in Highline and R-Line trim, with either the six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG.

Prices start at €29,995 for the 1.5-litre TSI in Highline trim and €30,895 in R-Line trim.

The Volkswagen Golf 1.5-litre TSI
The Volkswagen Golf 1.5-litre TSI is on sale from €29,995

The Audi A3 Sportback

Carzone's Most Searched Cars 2018

Carzone has released their Motoring Report for 2018 and it includes interesting data on the most searched for cars on Carzone from January to June of this year.The data reveals that the Irish public put a lot of faith in German marques when searching for a car!

BMW is the most popular car marque searched for on Carzone followed by Audi and Mercedes-Benz indicating a strong interest in the premium segment of the market.

The Volkswagen Golf is the most popular car model on the site followed by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Audi A6.

The most popular hybrid car is the Lexus IS300H.

Most Popular Make

1. BMW

2. Audi

3. Mercedes-Benz

4. Volkswagen

5. Ford

6. Toyota

7. Hyundai

8. Nissan

9. Volvo

10. Skoda

BMW 5 Series Irish Review
BMW is the most searched for carmaker on Carzone

Most Popular Model

1. Volkswagen Golf

2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

3. Audi A6

4. Audi A4

5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

6. Ford Focus

7. BMW 5-Series

8. Volkswagen Passat

9. Nissan Qashqai

10. Audi A3

2017 Volkswagen Golf review ireland
The Volkswagen Golf is the most searched for car on Carzone

Most Popular Hybrid

1. Lexus IS300H

2. Lexus CT200H

3. Mitsubishi Outlander

4. Toyota Prius

5. Toyota Auris Hybrid

6. Lexus RX450H

7. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hybrid

8. Lexus NX 300h

9. Toyota C-HR Hybrid

10. Porsche Panamera

toyota prius review ireland
The Toyota Prius is one of the most searched for hybrids on Carzone

Most Popular Petrol

1. Volkswagen Golf

2. Ford Fiesta

3. BMW 3-Series

4. Volkswagen Polo

5. Ford Focus

6. Honda Civic

7. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

8. Porsche 911

9. Fiat 500

10. Toyota Yaris

Ford Fiesta review ireland
The Ford Fiesta is one of the most searched for petrol cars on Carzone

Most Popular Diesel

1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2. BMW 5-Series

3. Audi A6

4. Volkswagen Golf

5. Audi A4

6. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

7. Volkswagen Passat

8. BMW 3-Series

9. Ford Focus

10. Audi A5

Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the most searched for diesel car on Carzone

Most Popular Electric

1. Tesla Model S

2. Nissan Leaf

3. BMW i3

4. Hyundai Ioniq

5. Renault Zoe

6. Volkswagen e-Golf

7. Renault Fluence Z.E.

8. Renault Twizy

Tesla store in Dublin Ireland
The Tesla Model S is the most searched for electric car on Carzone

Joe, Luke, David, Ben with the 2006 Renault Clio that's going to take them from Mayo to Mongolia!

Mayo To Mongolia In A Renault Clio

Joe, Luke, David, Ben with the 2006 Renault Clio that's going to take them from Mayo to Mongolia!
Joe, Luke, David and Ben with the 2006 Renault Clio that's going to take them from Mayo to Mongolia!

Four Irish guys will take on the Mongol Rally this summer in a 12-year-old Renault Clio. I recently spoke to Ben Ruddy about this adventure of a lifetime, all in aid of raising funds for the Dublin Simon Community.

1. Tell us what is 'Mayo to Mongolia'?

Mayo to Mongolia is Ireland’s entry into the Mongol Rally 2018. We are three Mayo men (Ben Ruddy, Joe McGing, David Kelly) and one Wicklow native (Luke Cafferky). Billed as ‘the greatest motoring adventure on the planet’, the Mongol Rally is an unassisted rally from Europe to Mongolia that takes place every year to raise money for charities across the world.

There are only three rules for the rally:

1. You can only take a farcically small vehicle with an engine of 1.2-litres or less.

2. You’re completely on your own.

3. You've got to raise a minimum of £1000 for charity.

Always wanting to push the boundaries, we aim to rally to Mongolia and back again over three months this summer. We’re considering Mongolia the half-way point, not the end point. We’ll take the Silk Route there by heading south through Turkey, the Caucuses, Iran, and almost every ‘Stan’ on the map.

On this path we’ll cross several deserts (such as the Gobi Desert), drive through the remnants of the Aral Sea, and hit over half the height of Everest traversing the world’s second highest road called the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. Our way home will take us north through Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

2. What motivated you to take this trip?

Having previously backpacked all over the world, we wanted to see if we could do a trip spanning the world overland. Of course, we could have made this trip in a 4x4, but we wanted something to challenge us. We’re thinking that ‘If nothing goes wrong, everything has gone wrong’. Taking a totally unsuitable vehicle to cross the world in sets the stage for some fun happenings and plenty of break downs.

Participating in the Mongol Rally gives us a chance to help others too. While we’re financing the trip ourselves, we’ll be using it as a platform to raise awareness for the great work the Dublin Simon Community are engaged in, and to raise money on their behalf. To date we’ve raised almost €4,000 for our charity and hope to reach €5,000 before we depart on July 9th.

3. What vehicle are you using? 

We are using a Renault Clio generously sponsored to us by J.J. Burke Car Sales in Co. Mayo. It’s only had one female driver from new in 2006 so it’s probably been driven very well up until now. The poor thing doesn’t know what it's in for very shortly! We’ll definitely be putting it through its paces as we cover the 20,000km+ and 40 countries on the round trip between here and the Far East. We chose the Clio because it fits within the 1.2-litre guidelines for the rally, although it will make for some interesting times looking for parts if we break down in Asia with a car from Europe.

The modifications to the 2006 Renault Clio have begun adding a sump guard to the car
The modifications to the 2006 Renault Clio has begun with the addition of a sump guard to the car

4. How are you preparing the car for this journey?

We’re in the process of fitting a sump guard to the bottom of the car at this very moment, and we’ll certainly need it as the roads become almost non-existent, particularly in Mongolia. We also have our eyes peeled for a set of all-terrain tyres with steel rims, because at the moment the Clio is sitting pretty (if not appropriately) on some shiny alloys.

Recently we refitted the car with a leisure battery, power invertor, several USB charging ports, front spot lights, and side mounted lights for illuminating our camp site at night time. We plan to spend the vast amount of time camping to reduce costs on the journey.

On top of the car we have a half-sized roof box for storage, mounted next to which is a flat panel box for a spare tyre, two jerry cans, and a high-lift jack.

5. What will you be playing on the stereo on the way?

While there’s four of us doing the rally, and each with different tastes, we’ll try to keep it appropriate for the moment we are in – blasting “Back In The U.S.S.R.” will be a must for the Russian border crossing; the English version of the 1979 Eurovision hit “Dschinghis Khan” will guide us as we crisscross the Mongolian Steppe, and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” playing on loop will keep us going as the sun sets on the horizon.

The guys have also been refitting the interior of the Clio to prepare for their journey
The guys have also been refitting the interior of the Clio to prepare for their journey

6. If people want to support you on your mission how can they do it?

I have to say, we are extremely happy to have some wonderful sponsors behind us as we undertake this charity journey. J.J. Burke Car Sales for our wheels, Irish Ferries to get us across the ocean to the continent, Irish start-up company Hairy Eyes Sunglasses for helping keep our retinas safe in the blazing sun of the deserts, Tracker Shop Ireland for fitting our car with GPS tracking, and ABL CCTV for helping with modifications.

Our efforts to fundraise for our charity take precedence as we prepare to hit the road, and we would encourage people to donate to our GoFundMe page for the Dublin Simon Community We have signed a pledge with the Dublin Simon Community that 100% of donations received will go towards them.

The team would like to also raise at least €500 for the international NGO ‘Cool Earth’ who work to halt rainforest destruction, in an effort to offset the carbon footprint of our undertakings. If readers would like to donate to this very worthy cause, they can see our fundraising efforts here.

7. How can people follow your journey?

Please follow along on our journey from July through October on Facebook or on our website. We will have live bi-weekly updates from the road with Mid West Radio (96.1 FM), and if you’re curious where we are in the world, you can track our precise location online with our friends at

We wish the guys a safe journey to Mongolia and back!

Spirit Jaguar Land Rover Opening New Showroom

Spirit Jaguar Land Rover Opens New Showroom In Sandyford

Spirit Jaguar Land Rover Opening New Showroom
Land Rover ambassador Brian O'Driscoll, Jaguar Land Rover Global CEO Dr. Ralf Speth, OHM CEO Declan McCourt and Jaguar ambassador and TV presenter Kathryn Thomas pictured at the opening of the new JLR showroom in Sandyford

Spirit Jaguar Land Rover celebrated the launch of a new 20,000 sq/ft showroom in Sandyford, Dublin, with a special event attended by Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth.

To celebrate the official opening, Dr. Speth joined the Spirit Jaguar Land Rover team in unveiling the new all-electric Jaguar I-PACE, which made its public debut in Ireland.

RTE broadcaster and Jaguar ambassador, Kathryn Thomas, was MC for the evening and welcomed Land Rover Ambassador and former Irish Rugby International Brian O’Driscoll, as well as loyal Jaguar Land Rover customers and enthusiasts.

According to Spirit, the new showroom is the "ultimate reflection of the Jaguar Land Rover ethos, offering customers a truly premium sales and ownership experience". Over the last 12 months, the Spirit Jaguar Land Rover showroom has been "transformed into a landmark building in the local community with a warm, refined and eye-catching design," featuring free wi-fi, a coffee bar, a new colour and trim space and lounge-style waiting area.

The full range of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles can be displayed in the new showroom, in addition to an Approved used car showroom, accommodating 8 vehicles. In addition, electric charging points have been installed throughout the site to facilitate Jaguar Land Rover’s range of electric and hybrid models.

Spirit Jaguar Land Rover has also included new handover bays, where customers receive a VIP handover experience before driving straight out of the showroom.

Spirit Jaguar Land Rover Opening New Showroom
Guests explore the new Jaguar I-Pace at its unveiling at the new JLR showroom launch in Sandyford

Eddie Kavanagh, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Ireland, said: “This is another significant milestone in the redevelopment of our entire retailer network which will be complete later this year.  Jaguar Land Rover is enjoying a period of rapid growth with the introduction of several exciting new models, not least the ground-breaking new Jaguar I-PACE.  This new flagship facility is a fitting home for our fantastic range of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.  I’d like to congratulate the team in Spirit Motor Group and wish them every success in the future.”

Jim Ryan, Dealer Principal at Spirit Jaguar Land Rover said: “This redevelopment is another essential step in our growth plans for Spirit Motor Group.  It further demonstrates our commitment to Jaguar Land Rover and our ambition to provide first class service and facilities for our valued Jaguar and Land Rover customers. We look forward to welcoming customers old and new to our flagship facility here in Sandyford.”

Airside Suzuki Dealership

New Airside Suzuki Dealership Opens In Dublin

Airside Suzuki Dealership
The new Airside Suzuki dealership in Dublin

Suzuki Ireland has announced the opening of the new Airside Suzuki dealership at Airside Motor Park in Swords, County Dublin. It's the largest standalone Suzuki showroom in the country, and brings the dealership network in Ireland to 21.

The seven-car dealership, which is part of the very experienced Ashley Group, has been fully refurbished to create a contemporary and welcoming setting. The full Suzuki range is on display with test drives available of all models, including the newly-launched Suzuki Swift Sport supermini.

Going forward, Airside Suzuki customers will also enjoy access to a comprehensive choice of Approved Used Suzuki cars on the forecourt.

Designed as a “one-stop-shop” location for added customer convenience, the new dealer is equally a Suzuki Service Centre, and offers routine maintenance and repairs. Adhering to Suzuki’s Service Promise, vehicle owners will benefit from, amongst other advantages, the supply of courtesy cars, pricing that is transparent, the use of genuine Suzuki parts during any work, and a complementary health check during every visit.

Dale Wyatt, Director of Automobile at Suzuki GB PLC, said: “Airside Motor Park is one of the busiest vehicle retailing hubs in Dublin, and is therefore a prime location to expand Suzuki’s presence in the region. With the Ashley Group bringing over three decades of expertise and know-how in the sector, this is invaluable to helping communicate the multiple benefits that the Suzuki product range offers to today’s motorists. We are delighted to have Airside Suzuki on board, and we look forward to working closely with the business.”

Pat Devitt, Brand Manager for Airside Suzuki, added: “We are proud to have created a showroom which promotes the very best that the Suzuki brand has to offer coupled with a relaxing environment away from the hustle and bustle of the Motor Park where customers can take the time to choose a car which is right for them. Furthermore, with the arrival of the eye-catching third-generation Swift Sport, it’s perfect timing to have joined the retail network. We have already welcomed a number of customers since opening our doors, which is a very encouraging start.”

Airside Suzuki is located at Unit D1 / D2, Airside Enterprise Centre, Airside Motor Park, Swords, Co. Dublin, K67 XC90.

For further information on the Suzuki product range, or to book a test drive, call 01 8957580 or visit

Volkswagen Polo

New Car Registrations In Ireland In April 2018

Official data from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) shows that total new car registrations for the month of April in Ireland were up 3.33% (8,102) when compared to April 2017 (7,841).

New car registrations year to date remain down 4.68% (79,897) on the same period last year (83,823).

New Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (LCV) were up 6.51% (1,800) on April 2017 (1,690) and year to date are up 5.39% (14,323).

New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV) registrations are also up 4.74% for the month of April (243) compared to the same month last year (232), and are down 8.31% (1,158) year to date.

Imported Used Cars have increased 19.31% for April 2018 (8,649) when compared to April 2017 (7,249) and year to date are 11.74% (34,763) ahead of 2017 (31,111).

Commenting on the figures SIMI Deputy Director General, Brian Cooke said “April’s registration statistics released today are broadly in line with expectations. The slight increases in all sectors for the month can be attributed somewhat to the extra working days in April 2018 compared to last year, as Easter fell in March. Brexit continues to impact on business, as evidenced by the continued strong levels of used imports from the UK. Total new car registrations are projected to reach around 120,000 by the end of the year, a decline of 8.6% on 2017.”

The top 5 bestselling car brands so far in 2018 are:
1. Volkswagen

2. Hyundai



5. Nissan

The top 5 bestselling models so far in 2018 are:
1. Nissan Qashqai

2. Hyundai Tucson

3. Volkswagen Golf

4. Ford Focus

5. Skoda Octavia

The bestselling car in April in Ireland was the Volkswagen Polo.

Irish Car of the Year 2018

Build-Up To Irish Car Of The Year 2018 Begins

Irish Car of the Year 2018, in association with Continental Tyres, will take place on November 9th at a gala event in The Gibson Hotel, Dublin.

58 cars will compete in this year's competition, in individual categories and for the overall title of Irish Car of the Year 2018.

Over 30 jurors from across online, broadcast and print media, including this writer, are eligible to vote in this year's competition.

In October, jurors will have the opportunity to drive all eligible cars again at a number of Refresher Days before voting begins.

Irish Car of the Year 2018

Candidates for the Irish Car of the Year 2018 awards are as follows:

Alfa Romeo GiuliaKia PicantoSEAT Leon
Alfa Romeo Giulia QFKia RioSkoda Citigo
Alfa Romeo StelvioKia StonicSkoda Kodiaq
Audi A5Land Rover DiscoverySkoda Octavia
Audi A8Mazda CX-5Skoda Rapid
Audi Q2Mini CountrymanSuzuki Ignis
Audi Q5Mercedes GLASuzuki Swift
Audi RS5 CoupeMercedes S-ClassTesla Model S
BMW 5 SeriesNissan MicraTesla Model X
BMW 530eNissan QashqaiToyota CH-R
Citroen C3Opel Crossland XToyota Prius PHEV
Fiat 124 SpiderOpel InsigniaToyota Yaris
Fiat TipoPeugeot 3008Volkswagen Arteon
Ford FiestaPeugeot 5008Volkswagen E-Golf
Ford Ka+Porsche 718Volkswagen Golf
Honda CivicRange Rover VelarVolkswagen Golf R
Honda Civic Type RRenault KoleosVolkswagen UP
Hyundai i10Renault ScenicVolvo XC60
Hyundai i30Renault Zoe
Hyundai IoniqSEAT Ibiza


hyundai tucson ireland

New Car Sales In Ireland In January 2017

According to figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), new car registrations in Ireland were down 1.7% in January 2017 compared to the same time last year. The month ended 39,019 new 171 cars registered versus 39,722 in January 2016.

Light commercials registrations were down 2.4% (6,394) compared to January last year (6,555), while HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations were down 6.3% (456) for January in comparison to the same time last year (487).

Commenting on the figures, economist Jim Power said, "Looking ahead to 2017, while the outlook for car sales is a bit more difficult to predict than last year, the projected growth in personal disposable incomes and the availability of credit provide solid support for car sales. However, the impact of Brexit and the increased volume in imported used cars are other issues that may impact on new car sales this year., Overall, though, numbers should be fairly close to last year with perhaps a slight decline of around 3% in new car sales in 2017, which would imply new car sales of around 142,000.”

Last year the Industry continued to generate strong returns for the Exchequer with a total VRT and VAT take of €1.5 billion (26.8% ahead of 2015) from new and used car sales alone.

Alan Greene SIMI President commented, “The Motor Industry continues to be a strong contributor to employment with 40,800 people employed throughout Ireland. Last year our Industry contributed €1.5 Billion to the Exchequer in car sales alone. 2017 was always going to be a more cautious year for businesses, right across the economy, but we have seen a steady start in January and hopefully we are on track for another good year and continuation of a stable market during the rest of the year”.

The top five selling car makes for January were Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan.

The top five selling models for January were the Hyundai Tucson followed by the Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai, and Volkswagen Golf.

Caroline Kidd

Irish Car Of The Year 2017

Motor Industry Gears Up For Irish Car Of The Year 2017

The Irish Car of the Year Awards 2017, in association with Continental Tyres, will take place on Thursday October 27th.

This year's jury is made up of 33 jurors from across online and print media who will vote for an overall Irish Car of the Year 2017, along with a number of category winners. Over 40 new cars launched in Ireland over the last year are eligible for the Awards.

Speaking at the launch of Irish Car of the Year 2017, Tom Dennigan from Continental Tyres Ireland said, “Continental Tyres is delighted to be sponsor of the Irish Car and Van of the Year awards, which are adjudicated upon by the majority of motoring journalists in Ireland.”

“For those Irish motorists who are in the lucky position to be considering a new car for the new year, the choices of the learned jurors of the Irish Car and Van of the Year awards are a great help in making sense of the bewildering array of cars and technologies that are available from the smallest car segments right up to the most exotic models on sale in the Irish market."

The categories for this year's Awards are as follows:

Small Car

Medium Car

Large Car

Small SUV

Medium SUV

Large SUV

Performance/Sports Car

An Irish Van of the Year 2017 will also be awarded.

Follow me on Twitter @caroline_kidd for Irish Car of the Year category winners as they are announced.

Caroline Kidd