08 Aug 2022

Revealed: Major drop in new car sales in Donegal in September

But overall picture is brighter as new registrations in the county are back above pre-covid levels of 2019

Revealed: Major drop in new car sales in Donegal in September

New vehicle registrations in Donegal plunged by over 47% in September compared with the same month last year, according to figures released today by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.

The number of new registrations for the month fell from 128 in September 2020 to 67 in September 2021.

However, new registrations in Donegal for the period January to September of this year stood at 2,320, up 13% on the figure of 2,044 for the corresponding months in 2020.

The SIMI notes that to present a more accurate picture of the new vehicle registrations, it is important to compare registrations totals with the same period in 2019 (pre-Covid) when businesses were fully operational.

This actually reveals a better picture in Donegal as new registrations rose 29% from 52 in September 2019 to 67 for September 2021.

And the January to September 2021 figure of 2,320 was up 1.62% on the 2019 figure of 2,283 in what was the pre-Covid era.

Nationally, there were 4,426 new cars registrations for September compared to 5,651 in September 2020 (-22%) and 3,418 in September 2019 (+29.5%).

A total of 100,646 new cars have been registered in the year to date compared to 84,515 for the same period in 2020 (+19.1%) and 113,945 in 2019 (-11.7%).

Meanwhile, nationally there were 4,952 used cars imported in September 2021, compared with 9,520 imports in September 2020, a decrease on the 10,221 imports in September 2019. Year to date used imports are up 4% (51,136) on 2020 (49,188) and down 38% on 2019 (82,435).

A total of 775 new electric vehicles registered in September compared to 659 in September 2020 (+18%). So far this year 7,827 new electric cars have been registered in the state in comparison to 3,613 on the same period 2020 (+117%). Electric Vehicle, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with their combined market share now over 31.22%. Diesel now accounts for 33.81%, Petrol 32.32%, Hybrid 16.26%, Electric 7.78% and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 7.18%.

Commenting on the figures, Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, said:  “Despite a 22% (4,426 units) decline in total new car registrations for the month of September, the electric vehicle segment has seen an increase of 18% (775 units) when compared to the same month last year. With an annual growth rate of 117%, the upward trend in Electric Vehicles is hugely positive, but would not have been achieved without the availability of the generous Government incentives. 

“In this context, SIMI is calling on the Irish Government to provide certainty and support for consumers by showing its support for the EV project. Any proposals to increase Vehicle Registration Tax on low emitting cars or to withdraw Electric Vehicle supports would only serve to have a detrimental effect reducing carbon emissions.”

He continued: “With both the detail of the Climate Action Plan and Budget 2022 imminent, now is the time for Government to show leadership and help motorists make the best possible choices. 

“This means for Budget 2022, no increases in VRT, the extension of both the EV Grant system and 0% Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) beyond the current expiry dates and, in conjunction with private enterprise, investment in a national charging infrastructure. 

“As we start on the road to zero emissions transport, increasing taxes makes no sense and penalises those who want to make better environmental choices.”

He added: “The EV numbers this year speak for themselves; the Industry has supplied the cars and the Government has provided the incentives, thus allowing consumers to make strong environmental choices. By keeping on this pathway, we can continue to provide the retail environment to help drive down emissions.”

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