Some good signs on horizon but car buyers need a boost soon
IT has been a strange year but now thoughts are turning to January and the beginning of the 141-registration plate.
Buyers right now are scarce on the ground. It is understandable. Few are going to buy this year and most will wait until they digest the fallout of the Budget before making any sort of a decision on what to do in 2014.
They need a bit of a boost and while the Swappage Scheme is seen as providing help for owners of what we'll call 'middle-aged-cars, there is a wider need to be met. We can only hope the Budget signals optimism that we have turned the corner and that people can look forward even in a small way to improving their lot.
Don't underestimate the pressure owners of older cars are under to get into something newer. They dread the thought of a big repair bill or something going wrong. And buying a secondhand car for reasonable money is becoming increasingly difficult because demand is pushing up prices. No wonder so many used imports are being registered.
Apparently there has been a decent level of interest generally in a Swappage Scheme whereby the Government 'hands back' €2,000 in VRT to the buyer of a new car who trades in one of six years or older.
But there is no doubt that dealers and distributors will have to match that to entice people to spend again on a new car.
I have no doubt the industry will. The question now is -- will the Government provide the platform?