New figures show that car sales rose by 6.2% in October, but remain over 25% lower than the same time last year.

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) said its figures reveal that new car registrations for October rose by 6.2% to 2,315 when compared to 2,179 sales the same time last year. 

Today's SIMI figures also show that used car imports for October fell by 18.7% to 9,315 from 11,457 in October of last year. 

For the year to date, SIMI said that imports are down 37.7% to 58,504 from 93,892 the same time in 2019.

However, light commercials vehicles (LCV) are up 56% compared to October last year, but year to date they are are down 15.3%. Heavy Goods Vehicle registrations are up 15.7% in comparison to October 2019 but are still down 21.5% so far this year.

SIMI said the top selling car in October was the Volkswagen ID, while the five top selling car brands so far this year were Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Skoda and Ford. 

The five top car models sold so far this year were the Toyota Corolla, the Hyundai Tucson, the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Ford Focus and the Hyundai Kona.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, said that October new car and light commercial vehicle registrations are broadly in line with the same month last year. 

But he said that like many other retail sectors, this year has been hugely difficult due to Covid-19, with new car sales down 25% year to date. 

"With car showrooms closed for the next number of weeks due to Government Covid-19 restrictions, retailers have been enhancing their online presence, particularly with the month of November being the key selling period for forward orders for the new registration plate in January," Mr Cooke said. 

"Manufacturers and retailers are already offering generous incentives for customers to buy a new car. With the ongoing impact of Covid and the impending Brexit deadline fast approaching it is vital that the Government continue to support business in this uncertain trading environment," he added.