Rise and rise of imports from the UK reflects busy buying this summer
Published 17/08/2016 | 02:30
It now looks like Irish motorists will buy around 60,000 used cars from the UK this year.
Since February there has been an inexorable increase in the monthly numbers of used imports being registered.
And figures for August show levels for the first two weeks are not far off the total for all of the corresponding month in 2015.
Essentially we are now bringing in around 5,500 a month - virtually every month - as you can see from the accompanying table (courtesy SIMI).
Imports are currently running at 41,015 year-to-date which is well ahead of the full eight-month figures for last year of 33,136.
On that basis it is easy to see how this year could top 60,000 because, unlike new-car registrations, imports don't tend to fluctuate that much.
The surge appears to have coincided with the fall in the value of sterling.
And with the uncertainty over Brexit, some industry experts fear there may be an even bigger increase over the coming months.
Others take the medium-term view that trends will settle and the volume of imports will not adversely affect used-car prices on the Irish market generally.
The increases are noteworthy, however, in that they coincide with plenty of 'Irish' used cars with dealers so there is an expectancy, at least, of prices coming under a little bit of pressure.
When taken alongside the big increase in the number of new cars expected to be registered this year (150,000-plus), the level of imports also reflects a lot of car buying this year.
The Top 10 imports so far this year are: Ford Focus (up 29.05pc to 3,074), Volkswagen Golf (+42.23pc to 2,334), Volkswagen Passat saloon (1,514), Opel Insignia (1,455), Audi A4 (1,341), Opel Astra (1,067), BMW 5-series (1,040), Ford Mondeo (1,040), Nissan Qashqai (1,029), Audi A6 (991).
How imports are rising
*To August 15 Courtesy SIMI