New car registrations for March rose by 14% (21,597) when compared with the same month last year, according to official statistics from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).

At 82,882, total new car registrations for the year to date are 28% ahead of the same period last year (64,519).

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), were up 21% (3,435) compared to March 2015 (2,838), with registrations up 34% (13,461) for the first three months of the year.

HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) figures show March registrations (312) were up 29% compared to the same month last year (241) and are up 63% year to date.

Commenting on the figurers SIMI Director General Alan Nolan said: “The increase in new car sales has continued for the month of March. While the stats show a lower percentage increase for the month it is important to put this into context, as the sales period for March 2016 had two trading days less than in 2015, with Easter having fallen in April last year.

“Even with this, the increase in sales across all sectors has continued upwards and it is encouraging to see consumers and businesses investing in their vehicles again,” he added.