Signs are good, says the AA
THERE are signs that the market for new and used cars may pick up in 2014 according to research carried out by the AA.
In a survey of over 26,000 car users carried out in November, 2.9 per cent of respondents said that they would definitely buy a new car in 2014; 6.7 per cent said that they might do so.
'Those are surprisingly good numbers,' said Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan.
'There are 1.88 million private cars in Ireland currently but new sales have been very weak in recent years with only around 75,000 new registrations for 2013. Our survey would imply a lift on that figure.'
Based on the responses to the AA Consumer Panel Survey it would equate to 54,500 definite new car sales for 2014 with a further 126,000 who 'might' buy a new vehicle.
This is good news for the industry but also for the Irish fleet in general. Car sales have collapsed from 186,000 in 2007 to less than half of that amount in the recession years that followed. This has meant a general ageing and deterioration of the Irish car fleet with the average age of an Irish car now nearly 9 years old. The AA is seeing first hand evidence of this in increasing numbers of break-downs associated with aging cars.
'We would certainly like to see an increase in car sales, not just because it would indicate an upturn in the economy but because it would mean an improvement in the standards of cars out there,' said Mr Faughnan.
The AA research also pointed to a big demand for second hand cars next year, with 5.2 of respondents saying they would definitely buy a second-hand car next year and 17.6 per cent saying that they might do so.