New car sales in Laois decline by almost 50% in June compared to 2023, while petrol overtakes diesel as most popular engine type

The number of new car sales in Laois saw a sharp decline in May, dropping by over 48% compared to the same month in 2023, according to figures released by the Society for the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).

A total of 42 new cars were recorded as sold here in May compared to the 81 sold 12 months ago.

It is only the second month this year to show a decline in new car sales in the County.

That 48% decrease in Laois is significantly higher than the 15% decrease seen nationally. 

There were a total of 6,401 new cars sold in Ireland in May 2024, down from 7,545 sold in the same month last year.

May is the third month in a row to show a national decline – the only three months since Covid that there has been a drop in car sales across Ireland.

Petrol cars were the most popular choice in Laois during May, overtaking diesel for the first time this year.

While all engine types saw a significant decline in sales compared to My 2023, petrol and petrol electric hybrids were the least affected, and the only two whose sales fell by less than 50%.

Petrol was once again the most popular choice nationally, seeing a 16% increase on the 2023 figure.

All other engine types saw sales declines, with the exception of diesel/plug-in electric hybrids, which appears to have turned a corner on their recent downward trajectory, increasing their sale by 87.5% nationwide.

SIMI Director General Brian Cooke acknowledged the decline, but focused his attentions again on the electric car market.

“New car registrations show a 15% decline for May when compared to the same month last year. Year to date, new car sales remain 4% ahead of 2023,” Mr Cooke said.

“Electric cars have seen a fourth consecutive month of decline in sales. The number of electric cars registered last month was 1,044, which is a decrease from the 1,715 registrations in May 2023.

“The EV share of the market now stands at 13%, which is down from 17% on last year, and is in line with 2022 market share.

“With the private consumer being the driver of EV sales in Ireland, we need to re-focus our efforts on these buyers; they need greater reassurances on their EV investment, which includes as a minimum the extension of current incentives and delivery on an electric charging infrastructure.

“We also need to encourage the company car market, where Ireland has been lagging behind other markets, and delay the phasing out of the BIK concession until such time as EVs become firmly established.”

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