These were the top-selling cars in Ireland in 2016

New car sales are booming...

These were the top-selling cars in Ireland in 2016

File photo

Figures released today show that 146,385 new passenger vehicles were sold in Ireland in 2016 - that's a 17.4% increase year on year, according to Motorcheck.ie.

This brings new car sales back to levels last seen in 2008 as the Celtic Tiger boom came to an end.

The top 5 selling models were:

1. Hyundai Tucson

2. Volkswagen Golf

3. Ford Focus

4. Skoda Octavia

5. Nissan Qashqai

Hyundai Tucson

While Ireland's favourite brands were:

1. Toyota

2. Volkswagen

3. Hyundai

4. Ford

5. Nissan

28,180 new light commercial vehicles were registered in 2016 - that's a 18.3% increase on 2015. The most popular makes were, Ford, Volkswagen, Renault, Toyota, Peugeot - with the Ford Transit being the top-seller.

Ford Transit

Meanwhile, 2,587 'used imports' were registered in 2016 - that's a 50% increase on the previous year.

However business is expected to slow in 2017 as sales level-off or retreat. "Certainly, nobody is predicting that 2017 new car sales will reach the heady heights of 2007’s 186,000 units," the report comments.

Michael Rochford, Managing Director of Motorcheck.ie said, "It’s been another very productive year for the Irish Motor Trade with comparable proportional increases in both the New Car and Light Commercial Vehicle sectors.

"But with the advent of Brexit and the weakening of Sterling, Used Car Imports grew significantly in the second half of 2016 with each of the last 5 months of 2016 posting increases in excess of 75% on the previous year and finishing the year with just over a 50% increase in imports or 72,500 imports in total."

The company added that consumers should be extra vigilant when buying cars from abroad and that they should make sure it has not been clocked or written-off and that it is not still under finance.