We're getting back to normal as used car deals rise sharply
WE are returning to a more normal cycle of replacing our cars every three-to-four years, a new study finds.
It discovered that the number of transactions involving used cars has significantly increased in the first quarter of this year.
That followed a period when the buy/sell pattern had faded as people either could not afford, or didn't feel the economic climate was right, to change.
The study was carried out by car history website Cartell.ie and confirms what has been happening on the new-car market where registrations have been on the increase all year compared with corresponding periods for 2013.
Cartell.ie analyst John Byrne says in the report: "In a normalised market we would expect to see an even spread of transactions across most of the registration years as motorists return to normal three or four year sales cycles.
"This was more in evidence in the first four months of 2014 than the same period in 2013.
"Combined with the significant increase in used vehicle transactions in the market year-on-year we are clearly seeing signs of a return to what we would consider a normalised used market."
The study drew on a wide database of material to produce a range of findings.
For example it shows how Toyota, Ford and Volkswagen are the three most popular brands on the roads when all vehicles (passenger and commercial) are taken into account.
It found that the rising tide of consumer confidence has led to big increases in people changing their cars for newer ones in every single county.
But the highest increases were recorded in Galway, Wicklow, Offaly, Monaghan, Cavan and Clare.
In terms of absolute numbers, Dublin recorded the highest volume of used-vehicle transactions (110,603) for that period.
Ford was the most popular brand in the used market for the first four months of the year, with Volkswagen and Toyota close behind.
Mr Byrne adds: "The market has picked up considerably in 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
"Every county has recorded more used vehicle transactions this year. In particular, transactions have been strong in Galway where they have increased from 14,157 to 17,440 representing a healthy 23pc growth year-over-year."
It is expected that the trend will continue as projections for new-car sales top the 100,000-plus mark for next year and possibly as many as 120,000 in 2016.