Low cost UK Car Imports on the increase

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Importing Used Cars into Ireland

With the onset of the Brexit decision for the UK to leave the EU, the value of Sterling has dropped dramatically. As a result, there has been a massive increase in vehicle imports from the UK.

Overall, there has been an 80% increase in vehicle registrations during September alone and if the drop in Sterling continues it will inevitably lead to even more UK imports into the Republic of Ireland.

It is claimed that some owners have made savings of between €4,000 and €6,000 in cars that they brought in from the North or from the rest of the United Kingdom.

While these figures are massive savings. The conservative estimate of savings for most are a lot lower.


A study carried out by MyVehicle.ie on the top 10 car imports last month reveals that while you can make substantial savings with certain imported cars, the savings may not be as high as you may think when you take into consideration, VRT, transport and travel expenses and other costs.

Knock-on Effect

With so many used car imports into the Irish Market, there is almost the certainty that market values will be driven down as well to coincide with the high volume of imports due to the evaluation of the British Pound.


On one hand this is very positive for the consumer who buys in their car From the UK but the knock-on effect of this also means that thousands who want to sell on their used car will see their vehicles markedly devalued as the lower import prices will deflate the values throughout the whole of the market. This means that your car could be worth less in trade-in against a new car.


Surprisingly, the purchase of some of the models, particularly the older ones ended up costing a lot more in fact and still others only made a saving of a few hundred euro. You may ask yourself, in some cases at least, is it worth the extra stress, energy, travel expense and hassle importing from the UK when you could find a similar vehicle within the Irish market?

When factoring in the market values here compared to the UK, the cost of Sterling, exchange rate against the Euro as well as VRT and up to €500 for travel expenses, MyVehicle.ie has found that in certain circumstances the costs may be prohibitive.

The advice is that with so many different variants involved in the importation of a vehicle from the UK; Caveat emptor (buyer beware). The buyer should be aware of all the factors involved.


VRT - Importing Cars Into Ireland from the UK

  • 2012 VW Golf 'Match' diesel 1.6 TDI (estimated retail savings €936)

  • 2013 Ford Focus 1.6 diesel (€2,568 saving)

  • 2013 Golf diesel 1.6 TDI SE (€615)

  • 2012 Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion (€195)

  • 2013 Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi (LOST €1,594)

  • 2012 Opel Insignia 2.0CDTi (€641)

  • 2013 Audi A4 2.0TDi (€3,375)

  • and another 2010 VW Golf 1.6TDI (LOST €378)

As you can see from the examples used above, there are certainly good opportunities to be had but we must also be aware that the pendulum swings both ways in the used car import game.


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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