Due to numerous Covid-19 lockdowns throughout the past year and uncertainty over Brexit, new car registrations for 2020 finished at just 88,324 units which is a 25pc drop on 2019 (117,109), writes Trish Whelan.

Statistics released from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) also show New Light Commercial Vehicle (LDV) registrations in 2020 saw a decrease of 14.2pc (21,732) compared to 2019 (25,336) while New Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations (HGV) saw a decrease of 22.3pc (2,066) in comparison to 2019 (2,659). Imported Used Cars saw 79,969 registrations in 2020, a decrease of 29.8pc on 2019 (113,926). Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are on the increase with 4,013 new vehicles registered last year in comparison to 3,444 in 2019.

Other stats of note show a changing market place in 2020. Diesel accounted for 43.29pc; petrol 36.91pc, hybrid 11.86pc, electric 4.54pc and Plug-In Hybrid 2.78pc. Diesel remains the most popular engine type while hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrids all gained market share last year.

The top selling car brands 2020 were: 1. Volkswagen, 2. Toyota, 3. Hyundai, 4 Skoda, 5. Ford. The top car models last year were 1. Toyota Corolla, 2. Hyundai Tucson, 3. Volkswagen Tiguan, 4. Ford Focus, and 5. Hyundai Kona. The top selling car 2020 was the Toyota Corolla.