The number of new private cars licensed for the first time increase by 17.8pc last year in a year-on-year comparison, new figures from the CSO show
However, though some 142,688 new cars were licensed in 2016, the number still remains below the most recent peak of 2007 when 180,754 new private cars were licensed.
Also on a comparison with December 2015, the number of new private cars licensed in December 2016 actually fell by 18.3pc to 692.
Meanwhile, the number of used (imported) private cars licensed in December more than doubled to 6,357.
The number of used (imported) private cars licensed rose by 46.9pc to 69,381 in 2016 compared with 47,217 the previous year.
This is the highest annual number of used (imported) cars licensed on record.
Every county showed an increase in the number of new cars licensed in 2016, with 14 counties having over 3,000 new cars licensed in 2016.
Almost half (47.9pc) of all new private cars licensed in the country in 2016 were licensed in Dublin (35.2pc) and Cork (12.pc) combined.