The number of used vehicles imported into Ireland this year is up 22 per cent on the corresponding period last year. According to data just released by vehicle expert, Cartell.ie.
In the month of May imports surged by 51.23 per cent compared to the same month last year. Likewise in April, imports were up by 39 per cent compared with April 2015. Imports were marginally down (-4.74 per cent) in January compared to the same month last year but were up in February (+7.8 per cent) and have climbed since then.
In the wake of Brexit, Cartell.ie also reports on the impact of the value of Sterling on imports into Ireland and concludes that the value of Sterling does directly impact the age of the vehicle imported into Ireland but does not significantly impact the volume of vehicles imported.
Cartell.ie looked at the age of used vehicles imported into Ireland. The average age of a vehicle imported into Ireland in 2016 is 5.19 years which is lower than the average age in 2015 (5.26 years).
Cartell.ie considered the average age of imports between 2002 and 2016 and found a correlation between the price of Sterling and the average age of a vehicle imported. For instance, when Sterling dropped to an average value of €1.12 in 2009 (from €1.25 the previous year) the average age of a vehicle also dropped from 5.88 years to 4.9 years. Conversely in 2015 when the average price rose €0.13 from €1.24 to €1.37 the average age of a vehicle imported also rose (from 4.91 years to 5.26 years). In fact, the value of Sterling directly impacts on the average age of a vehicle imported.
In July 2015 Cartell published results of a study which looked at sterling prices over a 7-year-period and found that sterling prices generally speaking did not influence the numbers of used vehicles imported into Ireland. The study found that Irish vehicle buyers are relatively insensitive to higher than average sterling prices – defined as a price above €1.20.
In May 2015 the average price of Sterling was stronger than average at €1.38. In May 2016 the average price of Sterling had fallen to €1.26 but still ran higher than the running average price of €1.20. That shows the surge in imports in May 2016 cannot be attributed to weaker-than-average Sterling prices. Likewise the study found there was no rush by Irish buyers to import vehicles when sterling was low.
John Byrne, Cartell.ie, says: “The results show that buyers looking abroad for a bargain are on a budget. When Sterling prices are weaker we are buying younger cars, and conversely when Sterling prices are stronger the Irish buyer is importing older vehicles. Interestingly we found no strong connection between the value of Sterling and the actual numbers of vehicles imported into Ireland over a 7-year-period – but this study shows that Sterling does still impact the Irish market. ”