It's been ten years since the number of new cars purchased in a single year recorded a record breaking high of 225,269. Seems hard to believe, but that record has stood since the year 2000.
A Lot Changes in 10 Long Years...
In the past decade we've seen a number of changes in the buying patterns of car shoppers. In prosperous times the mighty SUV became the 'status symbol' of choice, whilst the Toyota Prius and other environmentally focused models created their own following.
Such was our passion for new cars that Irish motorists clocked up over 1.5 million new car registrations in the past ten years and brought the national fleet to an all time high in excess of two million cars. I thought it might be interesting to look back at this last decade to find out what cars Ireland's drivers loved most.
Top 3 Best Selling Cars in Ireland
Third Place - Volkswagen Golf
The Volkswagen Golf (derived from the german for 'Gulf Stream') has the distinction of being Ireland's first ever 'Semperit Irish Car of the Year' in 1978. Now in its sixth generation, the Golf MK6 has nine versions available in Band A and a further fourteen to choose from in Band B.
The Golf is a very important member of the VW family as it carries the responsibility of being their best selling model to date. With well over 26 million versions of the car already built the model has an appeal across all segments from conservative personal cars to hot hatches and stylish convertibles.
Well respected for its strong residual value the golf is a popular second hand buy explaining the current rather limited supply of 100 available from main dealers today.
Second Place - Toyota Corolla
Voted Irish car of the year in 1988, the Toyota Corolla (latin for 'small crown') celebrated its 43rd birthday this year and continues to turn the heads of Irish buyers.
Selling 1 car every 40 seconds the current Corolla was completely redesigned in 2009 and has six versions available in CO2 category Band B.
Like its competition this means the Corolla is certain to benefit from the government's newly introduced scrappage scheme and continue its success on Irish roads.
If you're thinking of purchasing a used Corolla there's plenty of choice from the main dealer network with over 200 models currently advertised.
First Place - Ford Focus
It's official - The Ford Focus is Ireland's number one selling car of the decade
Having registered in excess of 90,000 Ford Focus's in the past decade, Ford bring the total number of cars registered in Ireland to well over 1.5 million. A relatively new model to the market the first Focus was built in 1998. Today there are over 5 million examples of the car sold internationally (excluding North America).
I asked Eddie Murphy of Ford Ireland to comment on the accolade and he attributed the success of the the Focus to its unique blend of driveability, practicality, dependability, low cost of ownership and style.
He pointed out 'Innovation' as being an integral part of the Focus success story. The car was the first in its segment in Ireland to offer ESP as standard. It was also the country’s first production biofuel car and the first to be officially certified as allergy-friendly. One interesting factoid is that placed bumper to bumper, the Focus cars sold to date in the country would stretch from Dublin to Limerick and back.
The Focus has an impressive nine versions available in CO2 category Band A (the 1.6 TDCI 90PS STYLE starting at €21,130) and if you're in the market for a used focus you have a choice of over 254 'Ford Select' premium cars available to choose from.
Do you drive one of the 'Top 3'?
If you are presently (or were in the past) a proud owner of one of Ireland's best-loved cars we'd love to hear about your experiences. Share your stories, good and bad, about how your car has performed over the years in the comments below.