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Irish Motoring Trends



With recent changes on motor tax and a renewed focus on electric cars, it is an interesting time to take a minute and explore the key motoring trends in Ireland.

Every year, the Department of Transport releases vehicle and driver statistics and the latest report has revealed a few surprises.


number of cars in ireland

Prior to the the social distancing measures, you might have noticed that there were more cars on the roads across the country. In fact, there are 2,174,779 private cars registered here in Ireland – the highest number since records began.

With net inward migration increasing by 33,700 people in 2019, it is no surprise to see the number of private cars increasing.


Car Imports Ireland

With a weaker Sterling, Irish drivers continue to opt for imported cars – especially from the U.K. Private car imports increased by 9.5% in 2019 vs 2018. 108,895 private cars were registered as used imports in 2019.

With uncertainty surrounding the economy, it is expected that imports will experience a degree of cooling in the 2nd half of 2020 and 2021.


Electric cars Ireland

Despite a lot of talk about clean cars and zero emissions, it is surprising to see such a small take up of electric cars. Only 3% of new cars purchased in 2019 were classified as electric.

Range anxiety still appears to be an issue and the poor recharging infrastructure is not helping matters either.


Car Manufacturer Market Share

Toyota continues to be the most popular car brand with 13% of all private cars (282,384), sporting the Toyota badge. Volkswagen comes in second place with a volume share of 12.2%. The third most popular brand is Ford, accounting for 11.4% of all cars.

Looking at the more luxurious car brands, you’ll find it very hard to find them here in Ireland as there aren’t too many driving around.

Luxury Models Registered in Ireland: 2019

  • Lamborghini: 4
  • Rolls Royce: 7
  • Ferrari: 29
  • Aston Martin: 68
  • Tesla: 629

Learner Drivers

learner drivers

We all remember the nervous time when we were learner drivers! Currently, 7.65% of all drivers in Ireland are classified as Learners.

The driver testing service has been suspended until further notice following the public health advice in relation to Covid - 19.

When tests resume, it is expected that the waiting times will be much longer compared to last year.


diesel cars ireland

With many major car brands halting the development of new diesel engines, it is welcome to see drivers opting for petrol and hybrid/electrical cars when new car registrations are reviewed. New private cars with diesel engines accounted for 47% of all new registrations in Ireland in 2019 vs 54% in 2018.

Currently, diesel accounts for 56.8% of all private cars in Ireland and that figure is expected to drop dramatically over the next decade. The Irish government has set itself the goal of ridding Ireland of all diesel and petrol cars by 2030.

We hope that you have found these facts and figures interesting! If you are interested in receiving a competitive quote for car insurance, get in touch with us today.

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