The new car registration system: four years on

By Liberty Insurance Ireland on 17 August 2016

In 2013, the Irish new car registration period was split in two for the first time. We wanted to see what the impact of this has been, and to see if Irish car buyers have become accustomed to the change, nearly four years on.

Previously, the new car registration period ran from January 1st through to December 31st, meaning a car’s registration plate spanned the full 12 months of the year (e.g. 2011, 2012). Now the new car registration period runs in two halves each year, from January 1st to June 30th (when this year new car number plates began 161) and again from July 1st to December 31st (when new car number plates this year begin 162). But has this change impacted new car sales in Ireland and was it really all worthwhile? We took a look at some data with our friends at Carzone.ie, Ireland’s leading motoring marketplace, and from the vehicle statistics website Cartell.ie, to find out.

From spring onwards, sales typically declined for the remainder of the year and summer was quiet for dealerships around the country.

Before dual registrations

Prior to 2013, January and February were typically the busiest months of the year for new car sales in Ireland, as buyers wanted to get their hands on a new car and that desirable new registration plate as early in the year as possible. From spring onwards, sales typically declined for the remainder of the year and summer was quiet for dealerships around the country.

Post dual registrations

Fast forward to 2015, and the busiest months in the year for new car registrations were January and July! This trend looks set to continue in 2016 as mid-summer is now the second busiest period of the year, with buyers keen to own a ‘162’.

Busiest Months for New Car Sales 2012 v 2015

2012

  1. January – 20,410
  2. February – 12,037
  3. March – 13,414

2015

  1. January – 28,871
  2. March – 17,590
  3. July – 27,075

To compare, total new car sales in 2012 (prior to dual registration) came in at 79,684, while 2015 (third year of dual registration) was an exceptional year with 121,438 new cars registered, a 52% increase over 2012!

We must also remember that the introduction of the dual registration period coincided with exceptional growth in new car sales thanks to an improving economy. To compare, total new car sales in 2012 (prior to dual registration) came in at 79,684, while 2015 (third year of dual registration) was an exceptional year with 121,438 new cars registered, a 52% increase over 2012!

Carzone.ie say it has also seen a sharp increase in the number of motorists searching for new cars on their website. In fact 161 has been the most-searched car year for both male and female car buyers in Ireland. It appears as though 2016 figures are only going to improve as more motorists than ever before switch to new vehicles during the summer period.

The future is certainly looking bright for 171. Will 2017 be your year to step into a new car?

With Liberty Insurance, you can get a car insurance quote online in as little as two minutes. And don’t forget to consider Carzone.ie for your next car.

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