The number of new cars licensed in the first seven months of 2020 was down by a third compared with the same period last year.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures showed, however, that sales of electric and hybrid cars held up despite the effects of COVID-19 restrictions.
The total number of new cars licensed in July was 15,329, down just over 18% on the same month last year. For the first seven months of 2020, there was a drop of 33% to 64,513.
Despite the slide in the number of new cars overall, the number of new hybrid cars licensed grew by 5% to 9,883 for the first seven months of the year. 2,360 new electric cars were licensed, a fall of just 95 vehicles when compared with the same period in 2019.
Electric and hybrid cars accounted for 19% of new cars sold in the first seven months of the year, up from 12.3% a year earlier.
The pandemic has had an impact on the used car market, however, with the 8,275 imported cars in July representing a drop of 10%. Used car imports for the first seven months are down almost 43% to 34,856.