Drop in the number of new cars bought
WICKLOW has seen a fall of 2.5 per cent in the amount of new car sold during the first four months of 2018.
Official statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that a total of 1,791 new cars were registered in Wicklow between January and April of this year compared to 1,873 for the same period last year, representing an drop of 2.5 per cent.
The figures show that Wicklow had a 2.24 share of the national market in the first four months of this year compared to 2.19 per cent for the same period last year.
Only three counties registered a rise in new car sales in a largely flat market. Wexford recorded an increase of 6.64 per cent, Carlow recorded an increase of 1.18 per cent while Louth had an increase of 0.84 per cent.
The figures show that there was a total of 955 new registrations in Wicklow in January of this year. There were 362 new registrations in the county in February, 292 in March and 181 in April.
New registrations in the county were up for two of the four months, with February and March showing a decrease while January and March had an increase.
There was a 0.10 per cent increase in sales in January and 15.29 per cent in April. There was a drop of 1.63 per cent in February and an 18.44 per cent drop in March - registrations of 292 vehicles compared to 358 registrations in March 2017.
The top makes of new passenger cars sold in the county so far this year were: Hyundai, Volkswagen, Toyota, Skoda, Nissan, Kia, Ford, Peugeot, Audi and Opel.
Just four makes of cars showed an increase in registration compared to last year - Volkswagen (5.52 per cent), Skoda (4.49 per cent), Peugeot (62 per cent) and Audi (52.27 per cent).
The top ten car models sold in the county so far this year are: Hyundai Tucson, Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf, Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Polo, Ford Focus, Nissan Micra and Toyota Auris.
MPVs, Hatchbacks and Jeeps are the most popular car types in County Wicklow in the first four months of 2018 although hatchbacks dropped by 9.46 per cent. Registrations of MPVs and Jeeps increased by 5.87 per cent and 35.79 per cent respectively.
Salon registrations dropped by 25.49 per cent while estates dropped 14.12 per cent. Sport coupe registrations rose by 50 per cent from six for the first four months of 2017 to nine for the same period in 2018.
While diesel cars remain the most popular choice for Wicklow motorists, they have experienced a drop in popularity, decreasing 23.67 per cent from 1,069 to 816.
Petrol and petrol electric however enjoyed a surge in registrations of 27.23 per cent and 22.12 per cent respectively. So far this year, 127 petrol electric cars have been registered in the county compared to 104 last year.
Electric cars are also on the increase with registrations of 22 so far this year compared to 20 last year, an increase of 10 per cent.
Petrol/Plug-In electric hybrid also increased from 12 registrations in the first quarter of the year compared to just five last year, an increase of 140 per cent.
Wicklow motorists prefer manual cars although there was a drop of 5.63 per cent in manual registrations.
Last year 1,440 new manual cars were registered in the county compared to 1,359 this year. Au- tomatic car sales rose by 8.31 per cent going from 397 last year to 430 this year.
Grey is the most popular choice of colour for local motorists followed by white/ivory, black, red/maroon, and blue. Brown, green, orange, and yellow bring up the rear of the colour choices for Wicklow motorists.
Just three colours, grey, red/ maroon and orange experienced an increase in registrations with spikes of 4.24 per cent, 6.19 per cent and 400 per cent respectively. Yellow experienced the largest drop, a drop of 86.36 per cent going from 22 registrations in the first quarter of 2017 to just three for the same period this year.
Nationally, the figures show that new car registrations for the month of April were up 3.33 per cent (8,102) when compared to April 2017 (7,841), while new cars registrations in the year to date remain down 4.68 per cent (79,897) on the same period last year (83,823).
Sales of new Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (LCV) were up 6.51 per cent (1,800) on April 2017 (1,690) and year to date are up 5.39 per cent (14,323). New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV) are also up 4.74 per cent for the month of April (243) compared to the same month last year (232) and are down 8.31 per cent (1,158) year to date.
Sales of imported used cars were up 19.31 per cent for April 2018 (8,649) when compared to April 2017 (7,249) and year to date are 11.74 per cent (34,763) ahead of 2017 (31,111).
(From top) The Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai and Ford Focus were among the top ten models purchased in Co Wicklow.