However, there was some good news for the motor trade, with figures for August showing a rise of 2.2% on the same month last year. There were 7,360 new cars taxed last month, compared to 7,202 in the same month last year.
The number of used imports is also down 38.9% at 42,888 so far this year. The majority of these cars are between three and five years of age, with 66.5% diesel.
Overall, however, there has been a drop in the number of diesel cars joining the fleet, while electric and hybrid vehicles continue to grow in popularity. They now account for 19.1% of new private cars taxed for the first time in 2020, compared to 12.1% for the same eight-month period last year. Despite the 30.6% drop in total new cars so far this year, the number of hybrids rose by 8.2%.
So far this year 26,909 new petrol cars have been added to the fleet, 31,207 diesels, 11,008 hybrids and 2,749 electric cars.
In terms of brands, Volkswagen is the most popular car marque this year, accounting for 8,628 new private cars, ahead of Toyota with 8,539, Hyundai with 6,637 and Skoda with 5,759. Ford is in fifth place with 5,462. Of the premium brands, Audi has the lead with 2,958, ahead of BMW with 2,511 and Mercedes-Benz with 2,390. Meanwhile, electric car maker Tesla continues to record rapid sales growth in the Republic, with 498 new cars on the road so far this year,