Ireland has a new favourite car brand

And Mercedes are back in fashion - sales are up by 79%

Ireland has a new favourite car brand

Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images

New car sales experienced a 21% year-on-year drop in February as 17,015 vehicles were sold - that's down from 21,552 last year.

January started the year on a strong footing almost matching 2016, falling short by only 700 cars. Last month's dip means that sales for the first two months were 8.7% lower than 12 months ago.

Part of this gap can be attributed to last year being a leap year, giving February an extra day.

Toyota was the top selling brand during the month - pushing Hyundai from the top spot. The South Korean firm's Tucson remains the most popular new car.

The top selling manufacturers in February were:

1. Toyota

2. Hyundai

3. Ford

4. Volkswagen

5. Nissan

The top selling models were:

1. Hyundai Tucson

2. Nissan Qashqai

3. Volkswagen Golf

4. Ford Focus

5. Skoda Octavia

The commercial sector was down by almost 27.5% in February with 2,500 new registrations compared to 3,400 in 2016.

Commenting on the figures Michael Rochford, Managing Director of Motorcheck.ie, said, "This month’s sales stats must be taken with a pinch a salt as there is a little distortion due to the leap year in 2016. There is no doubt that this year is not going to perform as well as 2016.

"There is a lot of uncertainty around due to Brexit and with exchange rates in their current position Used Cars imports from the UK are growing massively."

Interestingly Mercedes are back en vogue, "Amazingly Mercedes-Benz has pushed its way into the top 10 selling manufacturers this year with a 79% growth in new car sales. The splurge on luxury vehicles is largely down to the 10% price reduction being offered by the brand but it also shows that consumers will vote with their feet when there is perceived value."