Friday, August 01 16:26:48
There were 18,776 new car sales in July, representing a 61pc increase on the same month last year (11,620), the first year of the new dual registration plate, according to SIMI.
July was the best July on record for vehicle registrations. So far this year, 84,474 new cars have been sold, an increase of 30pc (19,571) on 2013 and 10,000 more cars than were registered in the whole of last year.
HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are also up 40pc for the month and 44pc year to date, while Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (vans) also increased significantly, by 97pc in July and by 46pc year to date, compared to last year.
Commenting on the results, Alan Nolan, Director General SIMI, said: "We have to be positive about these figures, which are even stronger than we expected. When SIMI proposed the introduction of the split registration system, we predicted that it would give consumers and businesses a better choice in buying their new car mid-year rather than during the busy first quarter."
"We had hoped that if sales in the first quarter of the year were bad, the new plate would give a second chance for a recovery. Last year, July saved what had been a very poor first half, due to the VRT and Road Tax increases. Looking at the commercial vehicle and hire-drive numbers, it is clear that both retail and business customers see the benefits of the new system."
Last year, July represented 18pc of the year to date registrations while this year it has grown to over 22pc. In the final year of the old system, 2012, July represented only 6pc of the year to date registrations.
"Although we are seeing more business confidence and the outlook remains quite positive, the Industry still remains cautious. We are only at the beginning of a long recovery process, starting form a very low base, which makes the percentages look very high. In reality, there are still challenges, both in the availability of business finance and in the fragility of the market, which could easily be upset by any negative decisions in the Budget or instability in the economy," said Mr Nolan.
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