Brexit and what it could mean for the Irish Car Market

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Brexit, which will fall on June 23rd 2016, is the potential exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which could potentially have disastrous consequences for the Irish car industry.

The Irish car market is heavily connected to the UK and this connection means we can easily import cars (both new and used) from the UK into Ireland. With approximately 50,000 vehicles imported annually to Ireland from the UK, it is a popular option for many reasons ranging from greater vehicle specification, better condition with more choice of vehicles and in some case overall better value than if they were to buy a car in Ireland, either privately or from a dealer.

If the UK leaves the EU, what would this mean for the Irish car market? Would it mean the end of free flowing of goods between countries? There could be room to negotiate between individual countries within the EU that is if the EU doesn’t throw up any barriers between countries or that the UK feels it should place barriers in the way of imported goods from the UK. 

What could it mean for interest rates? It is said that if the Brexit was to occur, it is predicted that it would trigger a fall in the sterling. This fall in price would make purchasing cars more attractive for Irish consumers. But on the other hand it was also predicted that the euro would also fall in value if the UK left the EU, so therefore the exchange rate would balance out if both currencies fell.

If the rate of sterling was to fall below the euro, this would most certainly mean an influx of UK vehicles being imported into Ireland. Would this then have an impact on vehicle valuations across the used market within Ireland? UK vehicles made more affordable with greater specification and in pristine condition, selling for less than their Irish equivalent; which vehicle would you choose?

The process of importing cars into Ireland from the UK could potentially get more problematic if the UK leaves the EU. If you are seriously considering importing a vehicle from the UK into Ireland, then you might consider doing this before the possibility of the Brexit on the 23rd of June. The risk will become much greater after the vote and no one really knows what exactly will happen if it proceeds.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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