Brexit drives uncertainty in new car sales
New car sales are being hit by the economic uncertainty around Brexit, a dip in consumer confidence and a surge in used UK imports.
Official figures show an 8pc drop in first-quarter registrations. The fall-off would have been much worse were it not for 8,500 cars registered by dealers in the last three days of March.
They accounted for 40pc of all registrations for the month.
Some of those cars are destined for the rental market. But many will be sold as 'newsed' to bargain-hunting customers at a discount.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry figures show registrations for March were down 7.49pc (19,916) compared with 21,529 for the corresponding month in 2016. Year-to-date registrations are down 8.28pc (75,967).
Used imports, meanwhile, are up 56pc to 8,579 in March, prompting some to forecast we will bring in 90,000 this year.