Digital desk staff
New car sales rose 3.95 per cent in the first quarter, with 49,928 new cars registered up to the end of March.
Sales in March were up 40.7 per cent on the same month last year, despite ongoing reports of significant supply delays from manufacturers.
The surge in electric vehicle (EV) sales continues, and they now make up 12.5 per cent of the new car market this year, up from just 5.9 per cent this time last year.
Petrol engines remain the most popular choice with 27 per cent of the market, while diesel sales continue to drop, now just 26 per cent of new registrations. Regular hybrids now account for 25.4 per cent, while a further 8 per cent of the market are plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).
Toyota remains the best-selling new car brand, with 9,437 registrations, ahead of Hyundai with 6,868 and its Korean sister brand Kia with 3,871. The Hyundai Tucson is the best-selling new model on the market with 3,316 registrations.
Hyundai is also the best-selling EV brand, with 1,357 registrations, 1,072 of which were for its all-electric Ioniq 5, the best-selling EV this year.
Supply issues are heavily impacting some brands, with VW pointing to pandemic-related issues with sourcing microchips compounded by wiring looms produced in Ukraine hindering new car production lines. VW sales are down 34 per cent on this time last year, while registrations at sister brand Skoda have fallen 16.25 per cent.