Used imports: more than 64,000 bought to date
Published 23/11/2016 | 02:30
When the brand that calls itself the 'top people's car-maker' knocks 10pc off the price of new cars to, in part, counter the impact of UK imports, you know we've got a big post-Brexit 'happening'.
Mercedes has announced the reductions across their new-car model range. They are frank in saying why:
1. To keep the order books filling up in the lead-in to 171.
2. "To give support to a dealer organisation in its efforts to combat the effects on new car sales here following the movement in currency values from the recent Brexit result."
The cuts, they say, will be for a limited period.
But it's significant that they have made the move and it shows, in microcosm, what distributors and dealers here could be facing during 2017 if sterling weakens further and even more imports flood onto the market.
As of this week more than 64,000 used imports have been registered this year.
That is up almost 20,000 (or 42pc) on the corresponding period for 2015, according to SIMI figures. And as import buying is not seasonal like new cars, we can expect a good few thousand more to be registered before the end of the year.
We get dozens of queries here every week from people asking whether they should import a vehicle or not.
My advice is simple for anyone buying a used car, be it 'home' or imported: Do your sums in great detail first and exercise great care and caution.
I'm not going to dismiss import purchasing because so many people have bought or are intending to purchase.
We can lose sight of the fact that lots of reputable dealers are bringing in imports and selling them as such.
Dealing with them means a lot of the uncertainty is taken out of the transaction, especially if they are your local dealer as well.
The potential for problems arise when you decide to undertake the transaction yourself.
This is where you have got to be extremely careful because costs can mount quickly.
As ever, whether you buy here or abroad, make sure the car has been thoroughly checked over.