Used-car sales dramatically increases as Brexit hits pound

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With Brexit looming close, there is an increase in exports from the UK, it is expected that there will be well over 100,000 second-hand vehicles imported into Ireland this year from across the water.

The number of second-hand cars imported into Ireland has doubled in the last two years alone, while at the same time sales of new cars were down by 10.5pc last year.


The rise in imports from the UK has been prompted by the fall in the value of sterling, making British vehicles more competitive in price. The trend is continuing this year, the same as last year, with new car sales down almost 5pc in the first half of 2018.


Sales of new cars fell to 127,000 in 2017 and they are continuing to be weak this year. In the first six months of this year, sales were down 4.9pc to 83,037 and at there was a dramatic increase in the number of imported second-hand cars.


Imported cars jumped 47pc in 2016 and went up by a close percentage again in 2017, to a total of 92,508 cars. The growth trend is continuing in 2018, with imported cars up 12pc in the first half year, suggesting a total of more than 100,000 for the year.


Prof Mary Lambkin of UCD Smurfit School said fears over the impact of Britain leaving the EU have only materialised in car sales so far.


"Two-thirds of items on supermarket shelves are imported - and that percentage is even higher for clothing and household goods.
"However, despite our reliance on a high proportion of imports for many types of goods, fears of Brexit have not yet materialised in most consumer sectors, except for car sales,"


It would seem that car sales are the one sector in which Brexit has had a clear and dramatic effect as the car sales market has been driven by the significant fall in the value of sterling which has made car imports cheaper.


In Ireland, consumer spending is steadily on the increase and is one of the main drivers of economic growth in Ireland, along with construction.


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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