Monday 10 December 2018

Sales of new cars dip as drivers spend their money on used imports

The number of car imports from the UK continues to increase. Stock Image
The number of car imports from the UK continues to increase. Stock Image
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

The economic boom is not being reflected in new-car buying as used UK imports are tempting thousands to spend their money on older, less expensive, vehicles.

New-car registrations for the 182-reg period – since July 1 - are only marginally down (2.75pc, 26,944) on the corresponding month for last year. But there has been an 11pc increase in used imports.

The latest SIMI statistics show new-car buying so far this year (114,059) is 4.09pc down on the first seven months of 2017.

The industry is now predicting total-year buying of around 125,000 (down 4.8pc). Significantly, however, they are forecasting a 12pc surge in UK imports for the entire year. That would bring numbers to 104,660.

In other words there will only by a 20,000-car gap between new and 'UK buying'. Some in the industry are forecasting even bigger numbers of imports.

And yet, despite the dip, in sales the Exchequer raked in €985.9m in taxation – a 1.9pc hike.

The report shows how the best-selling models this year are: 1. Hyundai Tucson 2. Nissan Qashqai 3. Volkswagen Golf 4. Ford Focus 5. Skoda Octavia.

The Top five selling car brands are: 1. Volkswagen, 2. Toyota 3. Hyundai 4. Ford 5. Nissan.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, economist Jim Power, who is also author of the SIMI report said: “The economic fundamentals that underpin new car registrations look set to remain positive but continued strong growth in used imports will continue to undermine new car sales.”

 lan Nolan, Director General SIMI said: “Registrations in the commercial sector in particular are showing positive signs of growth, with businesses investing in the renewal of their fleets.”

And there has been a ‘marked increase’ in electric vehicle registrations. While currently only accounting for a small percentage of the marketplace it will, Mr Nolan said, continue to grow over the coming years.

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