EVEN our wealthiest are feeling the pinch as sales of luxury cars have plummeted since the height of the boom.
Only 235 cars costing more than €80,000 sold last year. The figures are in sharp contrast to just six years ago, when the country was flush with cash.
The Revenue Commissioners said that in 2007, 3,373 BMWs, Mercedes, Lexus and Range Rovers and other luxury marques were sold.
The figures, which were compiled using Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) data, show that the average price paid for a car last year was €24,054. But this doesn't mean the rich have been keeping their wallets in their pockets, with 86 cars sold in 2012 costing more than €100,000. However, sales of cars costing more than €150,000 have fallen to single digits in the last three years.
Among the vehicles available to the super-rich include the Audi R8 Spyder which can cost €242,000; a BMW X5 M which costs €148,610; a Porsche Cayenne Turbo for €172,710 or a Mercedes S350L, which would set you back €349,770.
But if German vehicles aren't to your liking, there's plenty of others to choose from. The American Corvette Z06 costs €123,450, while the Japanese Lexus LS is priced at €187,000.
The best of British includes a Jaguar XKR S for €175,210 or a Range Rover Vogue for €153,000, although both are owned by the Indian carmaker Tata, which sells its Safari 4x4 for a mere €29,495 here.
The figures pale in comparison with the price of the world's most expensive car – the Lykan HyperSport, which has a top speed of 395 kmh and goes from 0-100 kmh in just 2.8 seconds. Billed as "Arabia's first supercar", just seven will be made and it will cost €2.6m – the same price as 118 Ford Focuses, the nation's best-selling car of 2012.
Meanwhile, beef baron Larry Goodman is flying high after buying a Cessna light aircraft last month.
Despite one of his companies, Silvercrest, losing lucrative contracts with Tesco and Burger King because of the horse-meat scandal, Mr Goodman registered a 1979 Cessna 172N aircraft with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), the official register shows. Similar aircraft sell for about €38,000.
Last year, his firm Anglo Beef Processor (ABP) bought a 2007 Eurocopter AS 365, commonly used by the US Coast Guard. It was registered in January 2012, and cost about €6.5m.
It is understood Mr Goodman's ABP Food Group has since agreed to sell the Silvercrest facility to the Kepak Group, subject to approval from the Competition Authority.