Secondhand cars are now the first choice for buyers
THE number of people buying used cars instead of new ones has increased dramatically this year, as consumers grapple with the end of the scrappage scheme and tighter credit access.
Figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show twice as many car buyers are seeking used vehicles compared with last year, while two- thirds of buyers are seeking a used car compared with just over half in 2011.
"Last year there was just over one second hand car sold per new car, now it's more like two used cars per new car," said SIMI's Alan Nolan. The latest figures show new car sales were down 42pc in June and that 10,422 fewer new vehicles were sold in the first six months of 2012 compared with the same period last year.
"The number of quality used vehicles which would normally come to dealers through trade-ins for new vehicles is also being restricted," says Mr Nolan.
"The end result is that dealers can't get as many quality used cars. The fact that less new cars are being sold also means there will be fewer used vehicles in two and three years' time."
Keith Mahon, CEO of the 'Car Buyers Guide' and cbg.ie, says bigger dealers are now in trouble when it comes to getting second-hand vehicles. "They're not making the same new sales so they're not getting the quality trade-ins -- the route by which they got good used vehicles." Mr Mahon says the lack of available finance means that car owners are selling their vehicles privately.
However, not all used vehicles are in demand with buyers going for types which comply with sought-after tax, insurance and fuel consumption criteria.
"The resale of some luxury cars in particular has collapsed. You'll see a car that cost €50,000 to €80,000 in 2008 selling for under €12,000 today. The worst affected are the Jeeps. On the opposite end of the scale, the used car brand which has seen the most interest grown is the Hyundai."