Irish car buyers buy big
Irish motorists are choosing larger engines according to Cartell.ie. The most popular engine size in 2012 was 1.6 litres, accounting for 28% of registrations. In 2007 1.4 litres was the favourite capacity, taking 23% of all sales. Despite the recession and talk of downsizing, engine sizes of 1.6- and 2.0 litres accounted for 37,000 units, or 47% of cars registered. Hybrid and electric vehicles also increased in popularity with 764 registered, up 23% on 2011.
Changes to the vehicle tax system go some way to explaining the change in customer behaviour. In 2008, taxation swapped from a system based on engine capacity to one based on CO2 emissions. As a result buyers have opted for more diesel-powered cars, which tend to have a greater capacity for a given level of performance. Last year 92% of the top five engine sizes were diesel models, compared with 31% in 2007.
Jeff Aherne, Director of Cartell.ie says: "These are interesting results: while the overall picture shows fewer people are buying newer cars, it's interesting that those that are entering the market are opting for a larger engine size. These larger diesel engines are more fuel efficient and produce less CO2 and are therefore cheaper to tax than the majority of petrol vehicles."
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