| 16.8°C Dublin

New car sales are picking up speed

CAR sales for the first two months of the year are up by almost a third on last year's figures and industry experts are predicting some 15,000 more cars could be sold in 2014.

The welcome increase in sales has been put down to more stable employment rates and increasing consumer confidence with "plumbers and electricians" returning to the market after years of inactivity.

Almost 36,000 cars have been bought in Ireland since January 1, with 22,893 sold in January and another 12,753 going in February. A 21pc increase on sales compared to February 2013, means it was the best February for car sales since 2008.

Overall, new car sales are up 28pc on 2013 figures.


With 12,475 cars sold, Dublin holds a 25pc share of the market, almost three times that of nearest rival Cork where 4,753 cars were bought, according to the figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).

Automobile industry expert Bill Cullen says he has noticed an improvement on day-to-day trading and said the people coming into his SsanYong showrooms are well-researched middle-income earners.

He told the Herald: "People are feeling a bit more confident now.

"They've had money in the bank, car prices are cheaper compared to five years ago and manufacturers are pulling down prices.

"I think, yes, people are more tempted to buy a new car."

Director-general of the SIMI Ken Nolan said: "Dealers are undoubtedly seeing a lot more confidence among consumers."