Surge in used imports: 1,200 a week being brought in
* Strong demand could push figure to 60,000 for the year
NEW CAR sales may have taken the spotlight and headlines so far this year but figures show that used imports are also racing ahead of 2013.
A steady flow of 1,200 secondhand cars have been imported here every week since the start of the year, according to figures up to the middle of March.
The level of imports is running 26pc ahead of last year and graphically reflects the shortage of good used cars on the home market.
There is every reason to expect it will continue at this level for the rest of the year because, unlike the new car market, demand for secondhands tends to remain constant all through the 12 months.
The consistency of supply and demand is underlined by the figures, courtesy of Motorcheck.ie, which show that there were 4,855 imported in January, 4,817 in February and 2,578 up to March 15, making a total so far of 12,250.
Should the figures continue, and as already outlined there is every reason to expect they will, we could end up importing close to 60,000 this year.
That would be 10,000 up on 2013 (50,072) which, in itself, was 10,000 up on the previous year.
From those figures we can deduce that there is a steadily growing demand for secondhand imports regardless of the level of new-vehicle purchase.
Many reputable garages around the country are bringing in a lot of good secondhand cars from England to meet the rising level of demand.
And that is despite the pickup in new car sales which would normally be expected to provide a reasonable number of decent trade-ins for resale as good secondhand buys.
Official SIMI figures for January and February show that new car sales of 35,646 are ahead of 2013 by more than 28pc.