Great value to be had in Ir­ish sec­ond hand car mar­ket

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - USED CARS - Stephen Rogers re­ports that all the signs point to good deals on Ir­ish mo­tor fore­courts

Brexit may have driven down ster­ling val­ues — but there is ob­vi­ously still a deal to be had here at home in Ire­land be­cause vir­tu­ally no new cars have been im­ported in re­cent times.

That was the wel­come sil­ver lin­ing that Alan Nolan of the So­ci­ety of the Ir­ish Mo­tor In­dus­try found to the medi­ocre new car sales which were recorded across the Ir­ish car in­dus­try in April.

The statis­tics showed that new car regis­tra­tions for last month were down 24% com­pared to the same month last year mean­ing the year-to-date fig­ure was down 10% on the first four months of 2016.

How­ever, three points must be borne in mind when con­sid­er­ing the fig­ures.

2016 was one of the first years in nearly a decade that peo­ple sud­denly felt they had a bit of money and fi­nally be­lieved they had the financial breath­ing space to splash out on a new mo­tor. There­fore, it was al­ways go­ing to be a good year for the new car deal­ers.

Se­condly, one must also re­mem­ber that while the fig­ures were down, the first four months of this year still saw 83,831 new regis­tra­tions — in the whole of 2015 there were just 96,284 such regis­tra­tions.

The third point, and pos­si­bly the most per­ti­nent for the used car sec­tor, is that while peo­ple may not be buy­ing new cars, they are be­com­ing more will­ing to spend more on sec­ond hand ve­hi­cles.

Last month, economist Jim Power re­vealed that used car im­ports in­creased by 56% be­tween the first quar­ters of 2016 and 2017.

“Con­tin­ued ster­ling weak­ness is driv­ing this trend, and while many of the im­ports are rel­a­tively old, they are still likely to be dis­plac­ing some new car sales,” said Mr Power.

His re­port found 49% of the cars im­ported in the first quar­ter of this year were be­tween 3-5 years old and 31% were be­tween 6-9 years old.

He said that pri­mar­ily re­flected a lack of sup­ply of sec­ond hand Ir­ish cars in the 2009- 2013 reg­is­tra­tion pe­riod.

How­ever, that avail­abil­ity is start­ing to and will only con­tinue to im­prove.

The econ­omy had be­gun to turn by 2014. In 2013, 74,303 new cars were sold. In 2014 that rose to 96,338. The num­ber of sec­ond hand cars hit­ting the mar­ket will only in­crease.

Fur­ther­more the bar­gains will be­come more plen­ti­ful as the used stock in­creases.

In March 2017, the av­er­age price of a new car was 4.7% lower than a year ear­lier and be­tween Jan­uary 2010 and March 2017, the av­er­age price of a new car de­clined by 21.1%.

With new cars be­com­ing cheaper, the deal­ers will have to re­duce the price of the sec­ond hand mod­els if they want to shift them from their fore­courts.

Peo­ple are more will­ing to spend on used cars this year

CAB Mo­tor Com­pany, Ballintem­ple, Cork. Mem­bers of the sales team (from left) Bar­rie Kenny, sales ex­ec­u­tive; Tim O’Dono­van, sales ex­ec­u­tive, and Pat Harte, sales man­ager. Pic­ture: Denis Mini­hane

All of the sig­nals point to mo­tor deal­ers bring­ing down the prices of sec­ond hand cars, so that now re­ally is a good time to buy.

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