New figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry indicate that it has been a very strong year so far for car sales.

The number of 161 registrations reached 101,338, an increase of 23% on 151 registrations. 

The approach of the end of the 161 plate did not dampen the appetite for new cars in June and over 1,600 units were sold in the month, up 12% on June last year.

Today's figures from SIMI also reveal that sales of light commercial vehicles increased by 9% on June last year and so far this year are up 26% to a total of 18,417.

Heavy good vehicles are up 42% so far this year, despite a 29% drop in the month of June, SIMI noted.

The top selling 161 makes were Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Nissan.

Meanwhile the top selling models were the Hyundai Tucson, the Volkswagen Golf, the Ford Focus, the Skoda Octavia and the Nissan Qashqai.

IMI also noted that the top selling colour of car with 161 number plates was grey.

It also said that every county in the country saw car sales rise in the first six month of 2016 compared with the same time last year. The highest increases were seen in counties Roscommon, Meath, Offaly and Wexford.

SIMI Director General Alan Nolan said the society had predicted at the start of the year that this year’s registration numbers should reach 150,000 for the first time since 2008.

"These figurers keep us on track to deliver that. This year promises to be the first normal year of registrations since the recession and with the range of attractive offers available across all brands we are confident that 162 will also deliver in the coming months," Mr Nolan added.