The Society of the Irish Motor Industry is hoping the new dual registration period, which came into effect yesterday, will boost new car sales in Ireland.
The new system will see new cars registered between now and June issued with a 131 plate, while new cars issued in the second half of the year will get a 132 plate.
Speaking as he announced a 12 per cent drop in new car sales for 2012, director general of Simi, Alan Nolan said: ‘The motor industry is often used as a barometer for the economy and we hope, with consumer confidence seeing some slight pick up of late, combined with the new number plate, that interest will grow in the coming weeks.’
Meanwhile, 2012 figures brought good news for Volkswagen – it was revealed as the best selling car brand last year, pushing Toyota into second place, with Ford in third spot.
However, of the 79,498 new cars sold last year, the Ford Focus was the top seller, followed by the Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Qashqai.
Some 92 per cent of cars sold in 2012 fell into the two lowest CO2 emission brackets, an increase of two per cent on 2011 figures.
Diesel engines were the most popular choice, with 74 per cent of cars sold in this category. Some 23 per cent had petrol engines.
And silver was the most popular car colour of 2012, followed by black and grey.
Ireland’s most popular body type last year was the hatchback, ahead of the saloon in second place and the MPV in third.
Budget win for electric vehicle drivers