Car sales expected to accelerate again in July
New-car buyers are taking a breather before launching into an anticipated mid-summer splurge for 152-reg models.
Latest figures show registrations last month were, as expected, down from the highs of January, February and March - but they are still substantially ahead of April 2014.
This reflects a new buying trend since the introduction of two registration dates in the year, in January and July.
The Society of Irish Motor Industry figures for April, and for the year to date, show that registrations reached 9,471 last month.
That is still up 21pc on April 2014 - but the figures are boosted by hire-drive and pre-registrations.
Many drivers who don't buy in the first three months or so are tending to wait for the July plate.
And that is creating something of a lull in sales during parts of April and especially in May, with a virtual halt in June registrations before a huge spike of buying in July and early August.
Sales for the first four months of 2015 are still running at 74,001, up 28pc on last year.
If July pans out as expected - and some analysts are forecasting sales approaching January volumes - then as many as 120,000 new cars could be on our roads by the end of the year.
That would be 24,000 more than last year and 46,000 more than were registered in 2013 - a dramatic bounce back from figures that threatened to undermine dealerships and jobs.
Meanwhile, several marques are attempting to win buyers for May with special deals, lower interest rates and more cash for trade-ins as they vie for share and cash flow in a tough market.
Best-selling models are the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia, Hyundai ix35, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Passat, Toyota Yaris and Kia Sportage.
SIMI's deputy director general Brian Cooke says the level of sales reflects "strong consumer confidence, with every county experiencing an increase in sales".