Car Ownership In Ireland: Private Fleet Size Hits Record High

Car Ownership In Ireland - Size of Irish Fleet Reaches Record High

Along with our partners at CarsIreland.ie our latest data research can reveal the extent to which car ownership has grown in Ireland in recent times. Between May 2021 and May 2022 the private fleet increased from 2,434,503 to 2,459,172 (+24,669). In August 2021 the private fleet hit an all-time high of 2,486,302.

Graph 1: Size of Private Fleet (incl. imports) 1999 to 2022, 1stMarch and 1st August each year (Source: Cartell Carstat)

Age of the Private Fleet gets older

Cartell.ie can also report on the age of the private fleet. Our latest data reveals that the age is increasing as owners hold onto their vehicles longer during the pandemic. The overall picture shows the age of the private fleet, both native and imported, has returned to a level last seen in May 2016. This coincides with a drop in used car transactions in the market every year since 2017 a factor which tends to point towards owners holding onto their vehicles longer.

Cartell.ie tracked the age of the fleet (both native fleet and imported fleet) on the first day of each month between January 1999 and May 2022. Between May 2021 and May 2022 the fleet as a whole has advanced in age by 66 days from an average of 3162 days to 3228 days (+66 days). For the equivalent period the imported fleet has also increased significantly from 3271 days to 3444 days (+173 days). The average age of a private car in Ireland, both native and imported, is now 8.8 years. The average age of an imported car in Ireland stands at 9.4 years. An indigenous Irish vehicle’s average age is currently 8.6 years. So while levels of car ownership have increased in Ireland so too has the length of time that people are holding onto their cars.

Graph 2: Age of Private Fleet, Native fleet, Imports 1999 to 2022 (Source: Cartell Carstat)

Trends in Car Ownership and Age of Fleet in Ireland

Ross Conlon, CEO CarsIreland.ie and Group Director New Business at Mediahuis Ireland, says:

“Cartell have been tracking the age of the fleet since its inception in 2006 and this data is very useful for the market in terms of assessing what age of vehicle the individual buyer is pursuing and in viewing shifts in the market place. The increase seen in the age of the private fleet year-over-year has been particularly notable – especially the imported fleet which had increased by almost half-a-year in 12 months – this is what is dragging the overall age upwards. The size of the fleet also hit an all-time high last August recording almost 2.5 million vehicles.”