The number of new cars licensed in January rose by almost 50% compared to the same time last year.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that 15,975 new private cars were licensed last month compared to 10,735 in January last year - an increase of 48.8%.

The CSO figures also reveal that the number of new goods vehicles licensed last month rose by 59.2% to 1,390 from 873 in January last year.

74.7% of the new cars sold last month were diesel, while 23.5% were petrol.

Today's figures also show that Toyota was the most popular brand of new car licensed last month, with 2,354 Toyotas sold. It was followed by Volkswagen (1,719), ford (1,575) and Hyundai (1,572).