Sunday 18 March 2018

How expected surge in 'Brexit' imports could spell danger for buyers here

* Big increase of clocking in UK could impact here
* And so could €750 extra in 'unexpected' repairs

Brexit could lead to lower car prices and a greater choice
Brexit could lead to lower car prices and a greater choice
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Motorists may profit from 'Brexit' with potentially lower prices and greater choice of models stemming from a huge surge in UK imports - but there are dangers lurking on the sidelines.

The anticipated wave of lower-priced used imports, on the back of weaker sterling has already begun, many experts feel.

Sterling has fallen 22pc since November, and if it weakens further, import numbers could increase even more.

That could mean lower prices for all used cars. (The downside is that your trade-in may be worth less and you'll have to pay more to change to a new or newer car).

That all remains to be seen but a number of recent reports suggest we also need to focus on other aspects of cars coming in here for the first time.

Firstly, it appears that clocking in the UK is on the rise. A report published earlier this year claims it has shot up by 10pc.

The Local Government Association (LGA) in Britain claims 'millions of miles' were slashed from odometers between March and October alone last year.

There is every chance a higher proportion of these vehicles will make their way onto the Irish market if there are more imports being sold here.

Even allowing for our NCT curbs, there is a high risk of some unsuspecting Irish buyers being sold a pup, and paying a heavy price.

The LGA says the situation is so serious it wants a proposed EU ban on all devices that can adjust a car odometer - some of which can be bought online for less than €150.

Another area overlooked, is the level of unexpected repairs that buyers face, after buying a used car - despite having them checked over in some cases.

The average cost of repairs that buyers didn't anticipate, is around €700, according to data compiled by Warrantywise.

This underlines the wisdom of intending buyers purchasing from an established Irish-based dealership or one across the water. The real danger arises with private deals, where buyers have little or no comeback should something go wrong.

Quite a number of reputable dealers here bring in imports and stand over them with warranties. You may have to pay a bit more but you do have backup.

That should also seriously reduce the likelihood of being landed with a dangerous write-off which, as we've seen, can account for one-in-10 imports.

All of these warnings should go to show us that in the midst of an expected plentiful supply of used cars, there is always the danger of buyers falling victim to conmen.

Indo Motoring

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