Published 30/07/2016 | 00:00

THE numbers of new cars registered in County Wexford during the first 20 days of the 162 registration period is up nine per cent on the same three weeks during 2015.

Figures provided by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that 518 cars were registered between July 1 and 20, compared to 474 between July 1 and 20 last year.

Nationally, new car registrations were up 11 per cent year on year, at 21,525 cars.

Light commercials were up 25 per cent at 2,657 units and heavy commercials were up 30 per cent at 304 units.

The SIMI said new car registrations in the first six months of 2016 stood at 101,335, up 23 per cent on 2015

The strongest growth in car sales in the second quarter was in Roscommon at almost 38 per cent.

The SIMI/DoneDeal report highlights the strong performance that the motor Industry has made in the first half of 2016 with the Exchequer collecting €978.4 million in VRT and VAT receipts from new and used car sales in the first half of 2016, which is 28.5 per cent higher than the same period in 2015.

Although there has been some 'deceleration' as the year has progressed, the economic outlook is still positive with total car sales forecast to reach 152,000 by the end of the year.

However, Jim Power Economist and author of the SIMI/DoneDeal Report said that despite the still-positive economic outlook, growth in car sales could be low or maybe even flat in 2017, with worries over Brexit partly to blame.

'This slowdown in growth reflects a market approaching, but still lower, than its natural state, after a prolonged period of catch up, but one that is now shrouded in Brexit uncertainty,' he said.

The review also highlights that the cost of motoring in general has decreased with the price of new cars down on average three per cent,

Petrol prices have declined by 8.4 per cent and Diesel prices also declined by 12.4 per cent in marked contrast the cost of motor insurance which increased by 38.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.

SIMI has raised the issue of rising insurance costs which are impacting most on younger drivers and those driving older cars.

The government is in the process of introducing legislation aimed at curbing the numbers of written off cars being imported into Ireland and registered on the roads here and the SIMI said the statutory requirement to record all write-offs and details of seriously damaged vehicles on the NVDF together with a prohibition on registering unsafe vehicles that have been previously written-off in another country will save lives on our roads and will protect consumers.

The soaring cost of insurance, especially for young people or for those driving older cars is also a serious concern.

The proposed action on write-offs may also help in this regard but more than that is needed to reduce the cost of motor insurance.

Figures from DoneDeal, Ireland's most popular motoring site mirrored the growth rate seen in the Motor Industry, with car dealership advertising volumes increasing by 19 per cent in the first half of the year.

Wexford People

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