The number of new private cars licensed for the first time fell again in July, though imports continued to rise according to the Central Statistics Office.

Just over 20,700 private cars were licensed in the month; down 573 (2.7%) on an annual basis.

However the number of used private cars - which covers imports - licensed for the first time rose 604 (7.9%) to more than 8,200.

That follows the trend that began shortly after Britain voted to leave the European Union, as the subsequent slump in the value of sterling made it more attractive to buy and import vehicles from the UK.

Between January and July there were 103,780 new private cars licensed for the first time in Ireland - down 4,882 (4.5%) year-on-year. Meanwhile imports rose by 6,662 (9.8%) to 74,472.

While the CSO figures show new private car sales continuing to fall, there was more positive news for commercial vehicle sellers.

During July the number of new goods vehicles licenced for the first time was up 238 (10.5%) to 2,507, while the number was 986 (5.8%) higher in the year so far at 18,077.

That category has also seen imports rise, however, up 231 (20.9%) in the month to 1,337 and 646 (7.8%) in the year at 8,973.