Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Ireland Automotive Retailing Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Automotive Retailing market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Issues covered in this Report

This Report will examine the retailing of cars to private individuals in Ireland, and therefore excludes sales to businesses or operators of company car fleets. It is exclusively focused on cars, and therefore excludes any discussion of the market for light commercial or other goods vehicles and motorcycles.

The retailing of cars takes place through the following distribution channels:

  • Franchised new car dealers – those under contract to specific car manufacturers or importers
  • Multi-franchise new car dealers– those with contracts that enable them to sell the products of more than one manufacturer
  • Independents – dealers that sell used vehicles from various manufacturers, some of which specialise in nearly-new or pre-registered cars
  • Second-hand dealers – those selling any make of used car, of any age
  • Automotive auctions – these are mainly used by motor dealers to buy their own stock, but some private individuals also purchase cars through auctions

The Market Size and Segmentation section of this Report examines only new car registrations in the automotive retailing sector in NI and RoI and excludes second-hand and used car sales (as comprehensive data is not available), and commercial or other goods vehicles. The market shares of the top-selling car brands and engine types are also covered in this section.

What you need to know

Car registration levels in both NI and RoI declined when comparing 2016 and 2017 as consumers became somewhat more cautious with their spending, but within the sector registrations of electric and hybrid cards saw strong improvements (albeit from a low base) highlighting the changing attitudes towards the environment and fuel usage among Irish consumers.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Brian O'Connor, a leading analyst in the Automotive sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Despite low levels of ownership in 2017, sales of Alternative-fuel Vehicles (AFVs) such as hybrids or electric cars continue to see year-on-year increases as Irish consumers become increasingly concerned with maximising fuel efficiency and minimising car running costs. Brian O'Connor
Senior Consumer Analyst

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Total new car registrations, NI and RoI, 2013-18
          • Forecast
            • Figure 2: Indexed new car registrations, NI and RoI, 2013-23
          • Market factors
            • Fuel prices increase on the back of crude oil improvement
              • Dealerships key channel for car financing
                • Personal finances expected to remain stable
                  • Innovations
                    • The consumer
                      • Three quarters own a car
                        • Figure 3: Ownership of a car, NI and RoI, 2016 and 2018
                        • Figure 4: When consumers bought their car, and if it was new or second-hand, NI and RoI, January 2018
                        • Figure 5: Reasons why consumers do not currently personally own a car, NI and RoI, January 2018
                      • Petrol and diesel key choices for future car purchase
                        • Figure 6: Desired fuel type for future car purchase, NI and RoI, January 2018
                      • Smartphones use while driving a worry for four in five
                        • Figure 7: Agreement with statements relating to cars, NI and RoI, January 2018
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • New car registrations fall in 2017
                        • Crude oil value shifts petrol and diesel prices
                          • Car tax increasingly linked to emissions
                            • Dealerships key channel for car financing
                              • Consumers somewhat optimistic about their finances, less so about the economy
                              • Market Size and Segmentation

                                  • New car registrations expected to hit five-year low in NI in 2018
                                    • Figure 8: Total new car registrations, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                    • Figure 9: Number of used imported cars registered, RoI, 2013-18
                                  • Electric/ Hybrid cars see huge year-on-year increase
                                    • Figure 10: New car registrations, by engine type, RoI, 2013-17
                                  • UK/NI sees increase in alternative-fuel cars too
                                    • Figure 11: Sales of new cars, by fuel type, UK (inc NI), 2013-17
                                  • Volkswagen top seller of 2017 in RoI, Ford for UK
                                    • Figure 12: New car registrations, by top 10 brands of cars, RoI, 2013-17
                                    • Figure 13: Manufacturer shares of new car registrations, 2013-17
                                • Market Drivers

                                  • Crude oil continues to regain value
                                    • Figure 14: Annualised Brent crude oil price per barrel, global, 2013-18
                                  • Petrol and diesel costs continue to increase
                                    • Figure 15: Indexed consumer prices for petrol and diesel, RoI, January 2015-February 2018
                                    • Figure 16: Indexed consumer prices for petrol and diesel, UK/NI, January 2015-February 2018
                                  • New road tax bands introduced for UK/NI
                                    • Figure 17: Vehicle Excise Duty Rates, April 2017
                                    • Figure 18: Vehicle Registration Tax, RoI, 2018
                                  • EU ruling could help boost more NI to RoI car imports
                                    • Dealerships key channel for car financing
                                      • Figure 19: Main reasons for saving by consumers, NI and RoI, October 2017
                                      • Figure 20: Main reason for taking out most recent loan, RoI and NI, November 2017
                                      • Figure 21: Car finance providers used, UK, February 2017
                                    • Improvement in outlook for personal finances
                                      • Figure 22: If consumers expect their personal financial situation to change in the next 12 months, NI and RoI, April 2017-March 2018
                                    • NI consumers pessimistic about the economy, RoI consumers confident
                                      • Figure 23: If consumers expect the general economic situation of NI/RoI to change in the next 12 months, NI and RoI, April 2017-March 2018
                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                    • Scrappage scheme offered by major operators and the impact on green vehicle sales
                                      • SIMI sales figures
                                        • New models from Mercedes and Volkswagen released to Irish market
                                          • Donnelly Group goes ‘carbon-neutral’
                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                              • Role of physical car dealership being challenged by the internet
                                                • AutoGravity aiming to streamline the car financing process
                                                  • Convergence of Autonomous and Electric Vehicles could make car ownership a hobby rather than a necessity
                                                  • Companies and Brands

                                                      • Agnew Group
                                                        • Key Facts
                                                          • Recent Developments
                                                            • BMW Group Ireland
                                                              • Key Facts
                                                                • Recent Developments
                                                                  • Ford Ireland
                                                                    • Key Facts
                                                                      • Recent Developments
                                                                        • Mercedes-Benz Ireland
                                                                          • Key Facts
                                                                            • Recent Developments
                                                                              • Nissan Ireland
                                                                                • Key Facts
                                                                                  • Recent Developments
                                                                                    • Peugeot Ireland
                                                                                      • Key Facts
                                                                                        • Recent Developments
                                                                                          • Renault Ireland
                                                                                            • Key Facts
                                                                                              • Recent Developments
                                                                                                • Volkswagen Ireland
                                                                                                  • Key Facts
                                                                                                    • Recent Developments
                                                                                                      • Audi Ireland
                                                                                                        • Key Facts
                                                                                                          • Recent Developments
                                                                                                            • Charles Hurst
                                                                                                              • Key Facts
                                                                                                                • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                  • Donnelly Group
                                                                                                                    • Key Facts
                                                                                                                      • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                        • MSL (Motor Service Limited) Group
                                                                                                                          • Key Facts
                                                                                                                            • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                              • Tesla
                                                                                                                                • Key Facts
                                                                                                                                  • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                                    • Toyota Ireland
                                                                                                                                      • Key Facts
                                                                                                                                        • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                                          • Opel-Vauxhall
                                                                                                                                            • Key Facts
                                                                                                                                              • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                • Three quarters of consumers personally own a car
                                                                                                                                                  • Diesel and petrol still key engine types for future purchases
                                                                                                                                                    • Safety on the minds of Irish motorists
                                                                                                                                                    • Car Ownership and When Last Car was Purchased

                                                                                                                                                        • Car ownership remains stable in 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Ownership of a car, NI and RoI, 2016 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Ownership of a car, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • Ownership levels remain higher among mature consumers
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Ownership of a car, by age and social class, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • A third of RoI drivers have bought second-hand two or more years ago
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: When consumers bought their car, and if it was new or second-hand, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • A lack of licence barrier to ownership growth
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Reasons why consumers do not currently personally own a car, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Consumers who do not currently have a driving licence, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Consumers who currently have a driving licence, but do not drive, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Fuel Preference for Future Car Purchase

                                                                                                                                                          • Traditional fuels still most desired for future cars
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Desired fuel type for future car purchase, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Petrol more desirable to NI consumers due to cost, RoI consumers prefer diesel
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Consumers who prefer petrol vs. diesel engine for future car purchase, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Average price per litre of petrol and diesel, UK and Ireland, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Future diesel taxation/ bans could switch RoI purchasing intentions
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Indexed new car registrations, by engine type, RoI, 2013-17
                                                                                                                                                          • Over a quarter considering a hybrid for future purchase
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Consumers who would prefer hybrid engine for future car purchase, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Little immediate appetite for electric vehicles
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Consumers who prefer Pure Electric (ie uses rechargeable batteries) vs. Plug-in Hybrid (ie combines rechargeable batteries and external power source) engine for future car purchase, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Concerns about 100% electric vehicles, UK, September 2016
                                                                                                                                                          • Improvements to charger network could help boost interest in electric cars
                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Cars

                                                                                                                                                              • Strong concern with impact of devices on driver safety
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Agreement with statements relating to cars, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Device usage key concern
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Agreement with the statement ‘I am increasingly concerned about drivers using devices while driving’, by age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Safety concerns for self-driving cars need to be addressed
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be keen to purchase a driverless car in the future’, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Agreement with the statement ‘I worry that self-driving cars would be unsafe’, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Parents more likely to view car as a necessity
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Agreement with the statement ‘I could not survive without my car’, by presence and age of children in household, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Wi-Fi desired by RoI parents to keep kids entertained
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Agreement with the statement ‘I am interested in fitting my car with in-car Wi-Fi’, by presence and age of children in household, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                                                                  • Market size rationale
                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations