Transport Trends 2017 & 2018

Transport Trends

According to the annual Bulletin of Vehicles & Driver Statistics published by the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, the total number of licensed (taxed) goods vehicles at the end of 2017 amounted to 349,143 units. 72% of these goods vehicles are four years old (253,091) and 64% are 6 years old and older (224,411). Year ending 31 December 2017, 24,101 goods vehicles were first licensed, down 14.08% on the previous year (28,051). This sector at its peak in 2008 reached 351,307 units, so a steady increase has been recorded over the ten years after hitting a low of 309,219 units in 2012.

Out of the 24,101 goods vehicles registered last year, 35 units were electric powered and 11 were petrol engined. Alternative powered vehicles were mentioned by Transport Minister, Shane Ross, TD on discussing the results of the Transport Trends 2018 document – An overview of Ireland’s Transport Sector, which demonstrates strong and continued growth across the various transport domains in Ireland, including public transport use, aviation and maritime traffic, and freight volumes.

“We will continue investing in transport infrastructure to ensure that this growth continues and that workers can get to their jobs, tourists can get to every corner of the country, and goods can be shipped all over the world. Developing from the National Development Plan, our ambitious new investment plan, ‘Linking People and Places’ will deliver close to €25bn in investment in Ireland’s transport and tourism infrastructure over the next 10 years.”

“We have also earmarked a further €4.8bn to enable State airports and ports to improve Irish connections with the rest of the world.”

Minister Ross also welcomed the fact that road fatalities fell 16% to 157 in 2017, the lowest since records began, and said his recently-introduced legislation imposing tough new sanctions on drink driving aimed to reduce that further. “Every death on our roads is one too many and we will continue our work to save lives by taking drink drivers off the road and making it socially unacceptable to ever drink and drive,” he said.

The Minister acknowledged that challenges remained, particularly with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to nurture our strong international connections. “Ensuring economic growth is also environmentally sustainable is a complex task, but there are promising signs. I welcome the growth in electric vehicle purchases last year, and measures such as our new incentive reducing toll costs for electric vehicles will encourage greater uptake of greener transport.”

Emissions from the transport sector increased by 4% to 12.29m tonnes CO2 equivalent in 2016, with 52% coming from private cars and 26% from goods vehicles.  Transport is the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after agriculture and energy.

  • The total volume of freight transported by road increased by 20% to 141.7 million tonnes in 2016 though it remains less than half the peak of 299 million tonnes in 2007.
  • The volume of freight shipped through Irish ports rose 5% in 2017 to 53.3 million tonnes, with Dublin Port handling nearly half of that. Trade with the UK comprised 42% of the total.

Transport related Stats 2017 vs 2018:

New Goods


July 2017






238  10.5%







986  5.8%

Used 1,106 1,137 231 21% 8,327/8,973 646  7.8%


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