Number of new cars licensed at highest level since the boom
Sales of new cars have reached their highest level since 2008, with more than 120,000 sold last year.
New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 153,850 new vehicles were licensed in 2015, of which 121,110 were cars, an increase of 31pc on 2014.
The surge in sales represents the second year in a row that the number of cars licensed for the first time has increased. Not since 2008 has the number been so high.
That year, 146,470 private cars were licensed for the first time.
The statistics also suggest that motorists are increasingly turning to new over second-hand, with a 10.7pc drop in the number of used, imported private cars licensed in 2015.
Last year, 47,217 second-hand vehicles were licensed for the first time. This compares with 52,863 in 2014.
The data shows that sales increased in every county, with 10 having more than 3,000 new cars registered.
More than one-third of all new private cars licensed in the country were in Dublin - 43,310 or 35.8pc - followed by 14,394 or 12pc in Cork. The lowest number was in Leitrim, at 576.
The figures also show:
Volkswagen, with 15,016, was the most popular brand of new private car, despite the company admitting it installed software designed to cheat emissions testing on 11 million vehicles.
Next came Toyota (12,409), Ford (11,823), Nissan (10,843) and Hyundai (10,743). The top five marques account for 50.2pc of all new private cars licensed.
Seven in every 10 new cars licensed were diesel, with 71.8pc of all cars sold falling into the lowest CO2 emissions band 'A'.
Only 476 electric cars were sold last year, while 1,354 hybrid cars, using petrol and electricity, were licensed.
The total number of all new vehicles licensed during 2015 was 153,850 compared with 117,652 in 2014, an increase of 30.8pc.
There was an increase of 41.1pc in the number of new goods vehicles licensed last year (22,939), suggesting greater demand for consumer products.
The most popular colour was black, followed closely by silver. Forty per cent of all new cars licensed were in these colours.
The CSO has also analysed the impact of the dual vehicle registration system introduced in 2013, where registration plates reflect whether the vehicle was sold in the first six months of the year or the latter half. It found that before 2013, around 75pc of all new private cars were sold in the first half of the year. This has dropped to 65pc.
The most common type of car bought last year was a hatchback, followed by saloons and MPVs.
Vehicles of all colours on roads
Sometimes there's no accounting for taste.
While black and silver remain the most common car colours, there has been a noticeable increase in the percentage of white motors on the road. In 2011, 3.5pc of all new cars licensed were white. This increased to 12.7pc last year.
The CSO says the most common new car colours are black, silver, grey and white, followed by blue and red.
But motorists are also keen to buy more lurid vehicles, with 529 gold, 283 orange and 212 yellow cars licensed.
There were also 96 purple vehicles, three grey and black, three yellow and green and one gold and beige.
The colour schemes pale in comparison with 2014, when two 'multi-coloured' vehicles and one each of yellow and black and blue and yellow were licensed.