Car history expert Cartell.ie has revealed that sales of second hand cars has fallen by 4.2 per cent so far this year. That figure includes the numbers of cars being imported from the UK - take that figure out and sales have actually fallen by 4.4 per cent.
According to Cartell's report, compiled with the help of BAC Auto Consulting, used car sales have fallen every month this year, with the single exception of March, which showed a year-on-year uptick, which was largely down to March 2018 having been especially disastrous.
Up to the end of July 2019, imported cars accounted for 22.9 per cent of all second hand car transactions in Ireland. That's an increase from the rate at the same time last year, which stood at 21.9 per cent, and is a record high since Cartell started to record the figure. "This increase of imports impacting used car sales is expected to continue whilst the UK border stays open and the Euro remains strong against the Pound" says Cartell.
"While the issue of an open or closed border between Ireland and the UK is seen as the biggest issue facing Brexit, there is some irony that a closed border could actually be a good thing for parts of Ireland's automotive industry according to the latest data from Cartell.ie Carstat database. Back in 2013, with a relatively strong Euro against the British Pound imports were flooding in at a rate of two for every three new cars sold. The collapse of the Euro in 2015 saw this drop to a ratio of 1:3 before rising again to a record of almost four imports for every five new cars sold in 2018. However, the UK stumbling over Brexit saw UK businesses stockpiling in the run-up to the original March 2019 Brexit data which boosted UK GDP growth and strengthened the Pound against the Euro."
In spite of the further damage Brexit has caused to the Pound since March, imports have actually fallen in the first six months of the year, by 5.4 per cent.
The worry now is that UK dealers will continue to 'dump' older, more polluting models on the Irish market, at heavily discounted rates. Cartell points out that the UK second hand car market has also fallen by 4.3 per cent this year so far, and the supposition is that - with the new Real World Driving Experience emissions regulations coming into force in September - UK dealers will be pushing new sales to get rid of stock, causing further falls in the used market, further depressions in the values of used cars there, and creating more opportunities for bargain-hunting Irish buyers.
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Carzone - 23-Aug-2019