New car sales figures for 2016 have been the highest in 8 years. However, the continuing increase in used car imports may result in a levelling off or decrease in new car sales during 2017.

This is according to the latest figures from, which shows the market is up 17.4% year on year. The industry had correctly estimated total sales of between 140,000-150,000 units at the start of 2016, finishing with 146,385 new passenger vehicles sold during the year.

This follows two consecutive years of 30% annual growth, putting the total sales figures for new cars back at 2008 levels. The industry however, is being a little more cautious with its predictions this year with most commentators estimating a levelling off or even slight decrease. Certainly, nobody is predicting that 2017 new car sales will reach the heady heights of 2007’s 186k units.

“It’s been another very productive year with comparable proportional increases in both the new car and light commercial vehicle sectors,” said Michael Rochford, Managing Director of

“But with the advent of Brexit and the weakening of Sterling, used car Imports grew significantly in the second half of 2016 with each of the last 5 months of 2016 posting increases in excess of 75% on the previous year and finishing the year with just over a 50% increase in imports or 72.5k imports in total.”


“That’s an increase of 24,249 additional used cars imported into Ireland over and above last year. There is evidence to suggest that a lot of people who may have been waiting to purchase a new car in 2017 took advantage of the drop in sterling and opted to import a nearly-new vehicle at the end of 2016 instead,” he continued.

With Used Cars imported into Ireland during 2016 reaching the highest levels we’ve seen in 10 years consumers are advised to be extra vigilant when making a purchase and ensure they perform a check to ensure the vehicle has not been clocked, written-off or still under finance.

Meanwhile in New Car Sales for 2016 Toyota emerged as the top selling manufacturer just edging ahead of both Volkswagen and Hyundai on the last two days of the year with pre-registrations of the brand new Toyota C-HR reaching 160 Units for December.

Hyundai had another great year with an increase of 34% in sales and the Hyundai Tucson becoming Ireland’s top selling vehicle overall.

Volkswagen was in second place despite the emissions scandal earlier in the year. However its gains on 2015 paled in comparison to the other manufacturers in the top 4 with an increase of only 1.45% on last year whilst the others all posted increases in excess of 18.5%.


The top 5 selling models were Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia and Nissan Qashqai while in the new commercial vehicles section, the top 5 Selling Models were Ford Transit, Ford Transit Connect, Volkswagen Caddy, Renault Trafic and Peugeot Partner.

The top 5 imported models were Ford Focus, VW Golf, VW Passat, Audi A4 and Vauxhall Insignia.