Friday 9 December 2016

Consumers chasing bargains on iPhones, furniture and wine

Charlie Weston and Michael Cogley

Published 08/10/2016 | 02:30

'Take Apple's new iPhone 7. Sure to be a favourite on Christmas lists this year, and with a price tag of €779 here, it’s definitely one of the more expensive gifts' Photo: REUTERS / Stefan Wermuth
'Take Apple's new iPhone 7. Sure to be a favourite on Christmas lists this year, and with a price tag of €779 here, it’s definitely one of the more expensive gifts' Photo: REUTERS / Stefan Wermuth

The collapse in the value of sterling is proving to be a nightmare for exporters, but the devaluation means there are huge savings to be made for consumers who buy goods priced in the UK currency.

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Some may regard it as unpatriotic. However, the changes in the exchange rate have meant that the euro is now almost 30pc more valuable against sterling than it was last November.

'For wine-lovers, a short trip north of the border may make sense' (stock photo)
'For wine-lovers, a short trip north of the border may make sense' (stock photo)

This means a saving since last year of €30 on every £100 - so something that costs £100 in Britain or online will cost you €110 today. Last November you would have had to pay €140 for the item priced at £100.

Another way of looking at it is that today €1 will buy you 90p. This time last year you would only have got 73p sterling for your euro.

Here are some goods where big savings can be made.

Tech

'Second-hand cars have been a strong area for imports, but even with the weakened sterling the incentive to bring in a new car from the UK remains small for buyers' Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
'Second-hand cars have been a strong area for imports, but even with the weakened sterling the incentive to bring in a new car from the UK remains small for buyers' Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

A good measure is electronics. From smartphones to consoles, it doesn't take long to work out whether or not it's worth your while buying across the border.

Take Apple's new iPhone 7. Sure to be a favourite on Christmas lists this year, and with a price tag of €779 here, it's definitely one of the more expensive gifts. However, take a look at the tech giant's UK website and you'll find the handset will cost you £599, or €670 - a saving of €109.

Apple's popular MacBook Pro laptop costs €1,499 in Ireland but just £999 (€1,107) in the UK, a saving of €393. After a typical commission charge on exchange rates, the saving is still over €350.

Furniture

It may be worth travelling north to Belfast's IKEA store. If you want that rather comfy-looking Norsberg sofa, your bill in the Dublin store will be a total of €2,444. However, at the Belfast outlet, you will pick up the same product for £1,929.

Just a few weeks ago that would have represented parity for shoppers, but the comparative price in euro today is just €2,195.15 - a saving of €248.85.

Wine

For wine-lovers, a short trip north of the border may make sense. A bottle of the Chilean Casillero Del Diablo will set you back €12 in the Republic, but punters pay just £8 in the North, or €9.09 at today's exchange rates. That would represent a saving of €2.91 per bottle for Irish shoppers.

For those with more expensive tastes, the Faustino Granules Reserva will cost you €25.85 in Ireland, but is priced at just £14 in Northern Ireland, which converts to €15.90 at today's rates - leaving a saving for Irish consumers of just under €10.

Cars

Importing a used car from the UK involves paying the vehicle registration tax (VRT), which is based on emissions.

Second-hand cars have been a strong area for imports, but even with the weakened sterling the incentive to bring in a new car from the UK remains small for buyers.

A new 162 BMW 316d saloon will cost you €39,410, as per the manufacturer's Irish website.

But if you look at the UK site, the same car will set you back £27,620 or €30,597.

The all-important VRT rate on the vehicle is 17pc, or €5,904.

However, the saving is marginalised by VAT.

While you can claim back the UK VAT on the car, the Irish VAT reduces the discount to €820.

The process involves having to pay both the UK and Irish VAT at the same time.

Cartell's John Byrne said there are two ways of bringing a car into the country.

"You can go to the UK, they can source it there and bring it back themselves and go and apply the VRT to the car," he said.

"The other option for the buyer is they can buy from a dealer who has bought the car in."

Irish Independent

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