New figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry show that new car registrations for June were down 22% compared to the same month last year with the number of registrations falling to 2,154 from 2,762.

SIMI said that registrations so far this year are up 2.1% to 65,176 from 63,853 the same time last year, but are still 19.3% behind pre-Covid levels of 80,758.

For the month of June, 187 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 390 in June 2021.

So far this year a total of 8,444 new electric cars have been registered compared to 4,330 on the same time in 2021 - a 97% increase.

SIMI said that electric vehicle, plug-in hybrids and hybrids continue to increase their market share, with a combined market share now of 42.49%.

Petrol continues to remain dominant with 28.22%, while diesel accounts for 26.87%, hybrid 22.50%, electric 12.96% and plug-in electric hybrid 7.03%.

Today's figures also reveal a 36% drop in light commercials vehicles (LCV) registrations on a monthly basis while they are down 23.3% on an annual basis.

HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 8.82% compared to June last year but are down 11% so far this year.

Meanwhile, used car imports for June are down 22.8% on June 2021, while so far this year imports are down 32.6%.

SIMI said that the five top selling car brands so far this year are Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Kia and Skoda.

The five top car model's year to date are the Hyundai Tuscson, the Toyota Corolla, the Toyota C-HR, the Toyota RAV 4 and the Toyota Yaris.

Brian Cooke, Director General SIMI said that the continuing surge in electric vehicle sales, up 97% for the first half of the year, continues to be the one positive aspect of the new car market.

"While overall new car registrations for June are down 22% on the same month last year, the industry is as ever optimistic that the new 222 registration period, which begins today, will help boost sales and attract vital trade-ins for the used car market," Mr Cooke said.

"Feedback from retailers is that July will be very busy, and consumers are advised to shop around for the best deals on new and used cars," he added.

Brian Cooke said that despite pent-up demand following two years of interrupted business, new car sales continue to drag due to supply constraints.

"While the supply issues will start to unwind in the short term, we now have the spectre of inflation and global political uncertainty," he said, adding that they have the potential to dampen new car demand at this critical juncture in reducing transport emissions.

"In this environment it is vital that Government continues to incentivise electric vehicles by extending current supports, and also refrain from any further taxation increases which will only suppress demand hampering our ability to decarbonise the national fleet," he added.