Value for money now 'key' as motorists shop around before buying
Car dealerships have enjoyed a bumper July with new 152 registrations up by more than 6,500 from the same time last year.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) will today publish sales figures for the first half of 2015 with sales expected to be up significantly.
Terry McGovern, owner of N4 Car Sales in Palmerstown, Dublin, said while there was undoubtedly a renewed buoyancy in the motoring market, value for money remained key for customers.
"We're definitely busier and our volumes are up. But if you're not at the races in terms of providing value for money, you've no chance of attracting customers. They'll simply go elsewhere. Price is extremely important.
"Something I've noticed is that customers are researching cars online like never before.
"They're using a range of websites to see how much a particular car I have is worth. They also take great care to check out the service history and quality of the vehicle beforehand."
He said the most popular car brands remained Ford and Toyota as they are the "most reliable" and "give the least hassle".
Young motorists in particular are "very clued in" on what to look for when shopping for a new set of wheels.
"They understand the real value of cars on offer and come to us with their iPads and iPhones, having done all their homework in advance. They're also very good at educating their parents, who may not know all that much about costs. They know the questions to ask and what would suit their needs."
Mr McGovern said there was an even split between cash buyers and those availing of credit from financial institutions.
"Credit unions are used quite often as a source of finance. Many customers are downsizing - or getting rid of two cars - so they can then buy just the one vehicle. Also from my experience, due to various measures introduced by the Government, what can be described as 'big engine' stuff is dead.
"But without doubt the number one thing consumers are looking for is reliability."