Dealers to gear up for July spree as new car orders rise
Car dealers are preparing for a bumper July when the 152-plate starts - as latest figures show new car registrations are already running 26pc ahead of last year.
Registrations for May reflect something of a falling-off in buying levels, however, as people hold on for the new registration period.
But with many dealers reporting steady levels of orders for July, there is widespread expectation of a midsummer spike in buying.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (Simi) figures show May registrations were up just 11pc (6,940) compared with last year (6,272).
But so far this year they are running at 80,913 - a 26pc rise.
According to the Simi, that level of purchasing has helped boost employment figures in the industry.
The number of jobs is up by 2,800 in the first quarter and stands at 44,700, compared with 41,900 towards the end of last year.
Simi's deputy director general, Brian Cooke, says confidence is growing in the economy and among dealers who are optimistic about the business over the months ahead.
"This confidence is reflected in the creation of new jobs within the industry," he added.
With expectations of heavy July buying, some experts are now forecasting 125,000 new cars will be bought this year.
That would be a near-30,000 increase on last year's 96,000.
Meanwhile, the three top-selling models for May were the Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Octavia.
Light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations, regarded as keen economic barometers, were up 35pc on May 2014 and a huge 56pc (13,835) so far in 2015.
And as an indication of the level of purchasing generally this year, car-history website Motorcheck.ie says we have bought 126,458 vehicles of all descriptions in the first five months of the year.
That is a 16pc increase on 2014 and embraces all registrations in the country, including new cars, light commercials, heavy goods vehicles, motorcycles and used imports from the UK, etc.
Their figures also show how diesel remains the most popular fuel.
The best-selling diesel cars are the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai ix35 and Nissan Qashqai, with the top petrol sellers being the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, Renault Clio, Opel Corsa and Volkswagen Polo.