Monday 16 December 2019

Used imports top 100,000 in advance of new NOx tax in January

Car imports
Car imports
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Used imports have topped the 100,000 mark for the second year in a row as buyers and sellers stock up before a new tax adds hundreds, possibly more, to the price of some cars.

The new NOx tax will take effect from January 1. It applies to all new registered cars as well as imports.

But, in the main, the focus will be on how it affects imports, with the expectation that older diesels will be hit hardest.

However, it is expected that import buyers will move towards newer models to minimise taxation so there are no great expectations that the flow of UK secondhands will slow dramatically.

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Nonetheless, there are some hopes more people will buy new next year as well.

More than 102,000 imports have been registered so far this year. That is a 9.3pc increase on registrations for this time last year.

As an indication of the rush to beat the January NOx deadline, the number of imports registered so far in November is up nearly 17pc on the corresponding period for 2018.

With a month's trading still to be done before year's end, another 8,000 to 10,000 could easily be added to that figure.

And that would put import buying right on the numerical shoulder of new-car purchases for the year.

NOx levels tend to be far higher among older cars, particularly diesels.

An older diesel import with 80mg/km NOx could attract a €600 hike due to higher emissions.

As the tax is applied on a graduated basis, the levy quickly mounts.

For example, if a car has NOx emission levels of 90mg/km the charge would be €850.

Here's how that figure is calculated:

* First 60mg/km @€5 = €300

* Next 20mg/km @€15 = €300

* Final 10mg/km @€25 = €250

* Total charge = €850

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