New figures from the Central Statistics Office in Ireland show that the number of new cars licensed fell again in June, though the decline was smaller than in previous months.

The Central Statistics Office said 4,833 new cars were licensed in the month, a drop of 34.4% compared with the same month last year. This is lower than the 60% annual drop in May and the 68% fall in April.

The CSO figures are in line with those released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) earlier this month. SIMI said the smaller fall in June needed to be seen in the context of the low level of sales experienced in June 2008 ahead of the introduction of a new system of car taxation introduced on July 1 last year.

The CSO figures show that for the first six months of the year, new car sales are down 63% to 42,365. The figure for the first half of 2008 was almost 115,000.

Of June's new cars, 2,264 (46.8%) were petrol and 2,501 (51.7%) were diesel. A breakdown of car make showed that Ford led the way with 730, followed by Volkswagen (602) and Toyota (567).

The number of new goods vehicles licensed in June was 1,025, a drop of 63.7% compared with June last year.