Wednesday 25 April 2018

Used car imports highest in a decade

With a few days trading still to go this year, nearly 71,000 used cars have now been imported and registered here. Photo: PA
With a few days trading still to go this year, nearly 71,000 used cars have now been imported and registered here. Photo: PA
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

The number of used car imports registered this year has broken the 70,000 mark - the highest in a decade.

It comes as buyers flock to the North and the rest of the UK following sterling's post-Brexit slide.

With a few days trading still to go this year, nearly 71,000 used cars have now been imported and registered here.

That is almost 23,000 up on last year when 47,798 were registered - and represents an increase of 48pc.

It is by far the biggest number in the past decade.

The nearest to it in that period was the 62,180 imported in 2008.

A substantial 59,813 had been imported in 2007 too, but there was a big fall-off in 2009 (49,286) as the recession bit.

The drop continued in 2010 (40,500), 2011 (40,979) and 2012 (39,902).

Numbers began picking up in 2013 (50,031) and 2014 (53,692) as the economy slowly began to recover.

The most popular models imported this year, according to latest statistics from the Society of the Irish Motor industry, are the Ford Focus (5,241), Volkswagen Golf (4,245), Volkswagen Passat saloon (2,444), and Audi A4 (2,311).

Other models including Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (2,262), Nissan Qashqai (1,899), Opel/Vauxhall Astra (1,736), Audi A6 (1,732), BMW 5-series (1,727) and Ford Mondeo (1,646) have also proved popular.

There has been a steady month-on-month increase in imports - to nearly 8,000 in November alone - since the UK's June vote on Brexit and subsequent fall in the value of sterling.

Ford Ireland chief Ciarán McMahon has said that the surge of imports has driven down the value of good second-hand cars here by €2,000 because dealers have to protect themselves against falling valuations.

There are concerns that a further significant increase in imports in 2017 could have implications for what people's cars will be worth as trade-ins over the next couple of years.

Irish Independent

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Also in Life