New car sales soar by 30pc
Massive growth in finance deals and ever-growing consumer confidence have driven up new car sales by 30pc so far this year.
The latest official figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the number of new cars on our roads has risen to 68,375 in the first quarter - a major lift on the 52,543 for the corresponding period in 2015.
The three-month surge was boosted by March sales that grew to 20,096, compared with 17,054 for the corresponding month in 2015, even though there were fewer trading days due to the early Easter.
The 17.8pc increase was lower than the monthly rises for January and February.
The surging market reflects the improving economic mood but, more particularly, the much wider availability of credit, especially Personal Contract Plans (PCPs).
Some experts believe these plans now account for one-in-three new car deals and are making the use, as opposed to ownership, of a new car more attractive for a lot of buyers.
Industry sources also say that while new car sales are now dipping off after a frantic three months, they are expecting a bumper 162-registration period from July 1.
The Irish Independent understands order books are already starting to fill up, such is the level of demand.