We're back to buying new cars as sales surge 30pc to highest level since 2008
The number of new cars sold last year surged as customers returned to the forecourts.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) says the number of cars licensed last year rose almost 30pc to 92,361 - the highest since 2008.
The figures also show:
l The most popular make of car registered for the first time last year, both new and second-hand, was Volkswagen, followed by Ford and Toyota.
l The most popular brand of new car is Volkswagen. The most popular second-hand car is Ford.
l Most new cars are diesel - 67,740 compared with just 23,417 petrol.
l There has been a four-fold increase in the number of electric vehicles registered, up from 51 in 2013, to 222 last year.
l The most common body type is hatchback, followed by saloon and MPV.
l Some 2,186 tractors were registered.
l There were another 52,863 imported second-hand cars also registered.
The figures from the CSO also show a rise in the number of goods vehicles being licensed for the first time.
In 2014, some 16,254 vans and trucks were registered, an increase of more than 5,000 on 2013 and the highest number since 2008.
The number of goods vehicles on the roads is considered a good indicator of economic activity, as the vehicles are used to transport consumer goods around the country and a surge in registrations suggests people are spending.
The figures show that in total, 117,652 new vehicles were registered for the first time last year, an increase of 26.7pc.
This is well below the peak of 2008, when 194,817 were put on the road.
The CSO said the number of used, imported vehicles fell slightly (1.2pc) to 70,268.
The surge in registrations follows a torrid few years for car dealers, with mass redundancies across the sector as spending dropped.
Unsurprisingly, most new cars are low-emitting vehicles which are cheaper to tax.
Of the total, almost 88,000 (95pc) fall into the A or B emission bands which incur the lowest motor tax rates of between €170 and €280 a year.
Just 114 are in the G band, which incurs a €2,350 annual tax bill.
Last year was the second in a row that the number of new private cars registered rose. The increase helped create 4,000 additional jobs in the motor trade, with more than 40,000 now employed in the sector.
The CSO said a total of 187,920 vehicles were licensed in 2014, an increase of 14.6pc.
But it noted that changes to the motor tax system, where owners had to declare their car was off the road, had inflated figures for some vehicles, including tractors.
The figures also show that 960 motorcycles, 237 small PSVs (taxis) and 280 large wheelchair-accessible PSVs were licensed during 2014.
There were also 4,762 exempt vehicles registered. These include cars adapted for use by the disabled, state-owned cars, vehicles owned by fire services and cars with diplomatic plates.