The wheel deal – cheaper, higher spec and serviced
Simon Bradshaw has imported eight cars from Britain over the years and believes you get far better value for money.
"They are cheaper, they are usually higher spec and they have a good service history. They are also usually in better condition as the roads are slightly better over there – and you get a bigger choice."
Simon says buying a second-hand car in the UK was almost exactly the same process as buying one here. He checks out the second-hand car websites, works out an approximate market price for the car he wants to buy and looks for the best value deal available.
He finds that you get better prices from dealers who are further away from large cities and in the north of England because there are fewer buyers.
Then he works out the closest airport or ferry and travels over. "It is very easy to do trade-ins too as there is only £50 import duty for Irish cars so the dealers don't mind buying an Irish model."
Simon has bought for cash and done trade-ins.
"Basically, the car is sold as seen but there are websites where you can check the finance history on a UK car to ensure the car is yours to buy."
Simon's most recent purchase was a Kia Carens diesel automatic which was advertised by a dealer in the north of England for £4,950. Simon called the dealer and managed to get him to knock £500 off the car so he bought it for the equivalent of €5,300.
The import duty was €1,800 and he spent €300 on travel for a total of €7,400. A similar car, with lower specification in Ireland, was advertised at €10,950, a saving of well over €3,000.
The dealer in the UK offered Simon a six-month warranty on parts and labour.