independent

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Motorists expecting to be hit

PADRAIG BYRNE

Published 27/11/2012 | 10:02

Austin Codd.

ONE GROUP set to be particularly badly hit in Budget 2013 is motorists.

Experts are speculating that carbon taxes, changes to motor tax and increases in VRT will all have a serious effect on the average driver and will also come as a major blow to the motor industry.

Austin Codd of Audi Enniscorthy has worked in the motor trade since 1999, and in that time he has seen drastic changes as the country went from a booming Celtic Tiger economy to one struggling with recession and debt.

' I started out in the motor trade in '99,' Austin said. ' I was lucky enough to get in when the market was going through a good phase and picking up. In 2000 the motor trade really took off. With the plates changing to '00', there was a surge in people buying new cars looking to get the new plates. In 2001 and 2002 there was a little bit of a drop in sales, and after that it rose steadily up until about 2008.'

While the motor trade went through somewhat of a boom up until 2008, a number of factors resulted in a drop in the market in 2008, changing the landscape of the motor trade completely. ' The start of 2008 was very good,' Austin said. 'However, come July the new system for car emissions came in and played havoc with the market. With the downturn in the economy, people lost confidence in spending. The whole market changed towards diesel cars and the value of second-hand cars dropped dramatically.'

The new carbon tax, combined with rising fuel prices and higher rates of motor tax, has resulted in difficult times for the motor trade as a whole, and with things set to get worse for motorists in the upcoming budget, Austin believes that there is a big challenge ahead for those in the industry.

With much riding on the upcoming Budget for the motor trade, car dealerships have been forced to adapt and carry on. Austin said: 'More than likely it will mean that cars and the running of them will cost more money next year than it did in 2012. However, if you're not positive in this business you won't survive.

At Audi Enniscorthy we always try to give a positive outlook and really what we're trying to get across to people is that by changing their car now, they can benefit financially in the long run. A lot of people have cars on the road now that are getting on in years. If they were to change now to a newer more economical car with lower emissions it may work out cheaper in the long run.

'It's more important than ever to drive the most economical car possible. Also, maintenance costs for a newer car are likely to be less, so this combined with cheaper tax and running costs will mean that it would pay a lot of people to change their car.'

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