New car sales so far this year have surpassed car sales for the whole of 2013. 

As of July 9, 74,911 new cars have been sold so far this year, a 28% increase on the same period last year and ahead of the full year 2013.

This is according to figures released by the SIMI, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, today.

One week into the new 142 registration period, 9,207 new cars have been sold, an increase of 79% on last year.

"The second year of the July plate change has seen customers, both business and retail, become more comfortable with the dual plate concept. This, allied to improved consumer confidence and the increased availability of finance, has led to more showroom activity, which benefits customers, the trade and Exchequer finances," Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General said.

"In fact, the first day of the 142 plate was the best day for car sales in six years, since before the recession. We still need to see this improvement in context, though. It is still potentially fragile and even with the growth we have seen, we are still likely to finish around 60% of the pre-recession market," Mr Nolan added.