New car sales revved up in July according to statistics from the Society of the Motor Industry, with 26,483 registrations for July, compared to 21,171 in July 2020 and 24,681 in July 2019.

So far this year, 90,342 new cars have been registered compared to 74,056 for the same period in 2020 (+22%) and 105,439 in 2019 (-14.3%).

"In what has been a very difficult and uncertain trading environment over the last eighteen months, new car sales in July have brought a much needed boost to both the Industry and to local economies," said Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General.

"Pent-up demand and record savings have led to strong appetite for all vehicles, new and used, cars and commercials. While new car sales continue to be well behind pre-COVID levels, hopefully this growth in activity in July is the first step in a return to more sustainable business levels."

Light Commercials Vehicles saw an increase of 4,794 registrations compared to July last year 4,443 and 4,697 for the same month in 2019. 21,814 new LCVs were registered so far this year, an increase on last year's 15,012 (+45.3%) and on 20,014 in 2019 (+8.99%).

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) saw 325 registrations in July when compared to 257 in July 2020 and 251 July 2019. HGV's registrations total 1,852 so far in 2021 compared with 1,456 in 2020 (+27.2%) and 2,054 in 2019 (-9.83%).

5,345 used cars were imported in July 2021, compared with 8,740 imports in July 2020, a decrease on the 9,382 imports in July 2019. So far this year, used imports are up 30.4% (41,097) on 2020 (31,527) and down 34.25% on 2019 (62,508).

1,902 new electric vehicles registered in July compared to 771 in July 2020. So far this year 6,233 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 2,660 on the same period 2020.

Electric Vehicle, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with their combined market share now over 30.44%. Diesel now accounts for 34.43%, Petrol 32.62%, Hybrid 16.56%, Electric 6.90% and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 6.98%.

Mr Cooke said it is particularly encouraging to see an increase in the sale of new electric vehicles, a vital component in driving down emissions from transport. "The level of zero and low emitting vehicles will continue to grow and it is vital that both the Industry and the State continue to invest to deliver the widest possible choice to motorists and commuters.

"The move to zero emissions is a huge challenge across society. In this context, taxation policy and incentives can drive this change positively, but it must support motorists to make the right decisions based on their own individual needs, which will include choosing electric, hybrid and lower emitting traditional fuel type vehicles."