New car sales fell in October when compared the same month of 2015, according to new figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.

There were 2,243 new cars registered last month – 316 (12.3%) fewer than in October 2015 – making it the second month in a row of falling sales.
However new car registrations for the year to date remain higher year-on-year, with 145,433 sold between January and October.

That is 21,913 (17.7%) more than in the same period of 2015, following particularly strong gains in January and February.

Volkswagen was the top selling make of car in October, despite its sales dropping year-on-year to 274 units.

Audi and Skoda – which are part of the Volkswagen Group – took second and third place with 231 and 163 units registered respectively.

The Volkswagen Passat and Golf were the best selling models in the month, with 81 units of each registered, with the Audi A3, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Tiguan completing the top five.

However Hyundai remains the most popular make of car in the year to date, with its 15,409 registrations giving it a leading 10.6% market share.

Its Tucson model accounted for 7,414 of those sales, making it the most popular model of car in the first ten months of the year.

Almost three quarters of cars sold in October were in the ‘A’ tax band, according to SIMI, though this is a slightly smaller percentage than the same month a year ago.

Meanwhile nearly 73% of registrations were for diesel vehicles, with petrol’s share rising slightly to 24.4%.

Eleven electric vehicles were also sold during October, according to SIMI, bringing to 382 the number sold in the year so far.

“In the final quarter of the year we do expect to see a slow-down in new vehicle registrations, with much smaller numbers each month compared to the peak selling months," said SIMI's director general Alan Nolan.

"However it is fairly apparent that the 162 period at 7% up on last year has seen a slowing-down in registrations relative to the 161 period which finished 23% up on the first six months of 2015.

"Whether this has been influenced by the Brexit situation or just a slowing of retail activity in the Irish economy, after a sustained period of growth, is not yet clear but this is something that the Industry will be continuing to watch closely.”