Motoring advice: 'Any dos and don'ts for buying a car in UK?'
Aidan Timmons and Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham team up to help readers make the right choice with their next car. Aidan visits dealers all over the country to produce a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars. He is co-editor of Motor Trade Publishers, who supply a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses. Eddie is author of former best-seller 'Clever Car Buying'
I'm looking at a Renault Megane hatchback 1.5dCi Dynamique sat nav 2017 with 3,750 miles for Stg14,000 all-in. With VRT and exchange rates it works out about €19,000 and it's a cash deal. Firstly, any dos and don'ts? And secondly, the car was registered March 22, 2017, so for it to be over the six months and avoid having to pay VAT as well as VRT, would it be safer to get it into October?
Aidan: It is always best to check the official wording of the criteria when importing a car so young, so I encourage you to go to the revenue.ie website and make totally certain. However, my interpretation is that cars over six months from the date of first registration and with more than 6,000km are not liable for VAT in this country. You should add the cost of importing the car, including transport and other expenses, to your budget. Have a look at what is available on the Irish market again. A lot of ex-demo models with tiny kilometres have come to market at keen prices and much closer to your landed value than you might think. Also, I think Renault UK's warranty might be just four years versus Ireland's five. That can be a point many people miss and I'd certainly value it at a few hundred euro at least.
Eddie: I'd double, double check the six months even though I know Aidan is correct. Nail the first registration date from which the six months are calculated and then leave a few weeks' margin just for safety. Aidan is also correct in saying the market for nearly-new cars is lively at the moment. You might get a better Irish deal than having to go through the rigours of the import route. But above all, check the six-month individual status of your purchase target.
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