More than 17,000 new private cars were licensed for the first time in March, according to the Central Statistics Office, an increase of 48.5% year-on-year.
It brought to 52,543 the total number of new car licensed in the first three months of the year, up 33.5% on the same quarter of 2014.
The number of used cars being imported was down, however, with 4,492 licensed in March – a 7.7% fall on the same month of last year. The number imported in the quarter were 1.9% lower year-on-year.
Volkswagen cars were the most popular in March, according to the CSO, representing 12% of all new private vehicles licensed. This is down slightly on its share for March 2014.
Hyundai and Nissan each had a 10.8% share last month – which is a 2.2 percentage point gain for Hyundai and unchanged for Nissan.
Toyota cars made up 8.8% of all newly licensed cars during the month, up 0.4 percentage points, while Ford fell 2.1 percentage points to 8.2%.