Tuesday 26 March 2019

Revealed: now we're buying younger imports

Used imports, the age of which is coming down
Used imports, the age of which is coming down
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Floods of fresh imports are helping to cut the average age of cars on our roads, new research shows.

The age of imports is now at the lowest level since 2010 - a reflection of the massive impact the influx of UK cars has had on our market.

It underlines the documented trend that people are shunning new-car purchases in favour of 1, 2, 3 and 4-year-old UK secondhand equivalents.

Meantime, due to a couple of years when new-car buyers were more numerous, the age of 'Irish' cars has dropped again, according to the analysis by car-history check website Cartell.ie.

When both imports and home-based are factored into the 'overall fleet' equation the average age has returned to a level last reached in August 2013.

John Byrne, of Cartell.ie, says: "The results show the average Irish buyer importing a vehicle is evidently opting for a younger car than before and this is bringing down the age of both the imported and combined fleet, native and imported."

While the implications at market level are obvious for secondhand buying and values, perhaps there is a case to be also made that insurance premiums should, or could, fall quicker given the 'freshness' of the national fleet?

Cartell.ie has tracked the age of all cars on the first day of each month from February 1999 to-date - quite a span.

While average age can rise and dip throughout the year, the age-drop of imported cars since February 2017 (-209 days) has been "particularly notable" the research shows.

It adds: "In February 2018 the difference in age between the (older) imported fleet and the (younger) native fleet was 158 days, while today the difference has narrowed to 102 days."

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