With an enormous improve within the variety of vehicles being imported into Eire from the UK this 12 months (the determine has surged by 56 per cent in comparison with the identical time final 12 months, and complete UK imports are set to prime 90,000 models by the tip of the 12 months) the truth that gross sales of recent vehicles in Britain surged by eight.four per cent in March is a major one for Irish consumers.
eight.four per cent might not sound like a lot, however with the scale of the UK market, that’s 500,000 vehicles registered in March. That’s half-a-million used vehicles attributable to enter the market within the subsequent one-to-three years, and half-a-million (or thereabouts) vehicles being traded in towards these new one, which are actually ripe for importing into Eire.
The figures are being pushed by a major change to the UK automotive tax system, which modified on April 1st. Beforehand, homeowners of low-emissions vehicles might pay no annual motor tax in any respect within the UK (for vehicles of as much as 100g/km Co2 emissions) and little or no tax (STG£20-30) for vehicles emitting between 100 and 130g/km.
That has modified now to a flat-rate STG£140 motor tax price, with a further loading of £310 for vehicles costing above STG£39,999 and additional prices for high-emissions automobiles. The system has been described as a dreadful muddle within the UK (with many criticising the truth that it successfully takes away any incentive to purchase an electrical or plugin-hybrid automotive) however one factor is for certain — UK drivers determined to purchase earlier than the changeover kicked in, reassuring themselves automotive registered earlier than April 1st will stick to the previous, extra reasonably priced tax system.
That in itself opens up an avenue of bargains for Irish consumers. A few of these vehicles might be unfavourably rated in tax phrases with the April change. Actually something costing greater than STG£40,000 new might be considerably penalised, by way of residual worth, by the brand new system so these on the lookout for a cut price govt automotive might do quite a bit worse than have a hoop round UK sellers and see what unregistered inventory they’ve on provide. You would effectively choose up an opulent automotive which can price much less to tax in Eire that it now will within the UK.
Secondly, the glut of trade-ins and used vehicles coming onto the market as individuals commerce in and commerce up will likely briefly soften the costs of used vehicles within the UK, even when solely briefly. The truth that the older vehicles will nonetheless on the previous tax system may very well convey their costs up just a little in coming months, however within the quick time period there might be bargains for the canny purchaser.
Then there’s the query of diesel energy. Regardless of the dangerous publicity surrounding diesel, and the announcement this week that London will convey ahead its further air pollution cost to 2019 (including STG£12.50 to the price of driving a automotive into central London for vehicles that don’t conform to Euro6 emissions rules) UK consumers nonetheless purchased numerous diesels in March. Though the general market share for diesel energy within the UK market fell to 43.four per cent, March nonetheless noticed 244,263 diesel vehicles registered, and diesel gross sales in Britain are 96,000 models forward of the place they had been this time final 12 months.
Once more, meaning the potential for bargains. With petrol energy reassuming its previous pre-eminence within the UK, and the shadow of additional costs and attainable modifications in gas tax and different attainable penalties being imposed by the UK authorities, it follows that costs for diesel-engined vehicles will fairly in all probability soften considerably over the approaching months. That once more might imply higher costs for Irish consumers, particularly with the expected continued fall within the worth of Sterling.
These anxious that purchasing a diesel automotive might be a nasty concept ought to in all probability not fear. Whereas it’s true that the Division of the Atmosphere right here has launched a session paper on bettering air high quality, and that does embrace discussions about what to do with diesel air pollution, there’s (in all probability) no must panic but. For a begin, a session paper implies that any laws remains to be a while away, and secondly any motion taken towards diesel energy will focus, at first, on older, extra polluting automobiles. Regardless of the scandals, there’s no query that vehicles which conform to present Euro6 rules are massively cleaner than their predecessors, so anybody shopping for a diesel automotive now ought to nonetheless be capable of depend on a strong residual worth in two-to-three years’ time.
After that? Effectively, there the image turns into quite murkier. Whereas some, comparable to notably Mercedes, are nonetheless investing closely in diesel expertise, and it’ll nonetheless be an essential type of propulsion for bigger vehicles travelling longer distances for a while to return, there’s little question that regulators and governments undoubtedly have diesel of their crosshairs proper now. More and more powerful laws will put stress on diesel values, particularly if consumers begin to look again to petrol, or ahead to hybrid and electrical energy as an alternative.
Within the meantime although, these sturdy UK automotive gross sales imply bargains for the taking for Irish consumers keen to journey to buy. Simply do not forget that it’s massively essential to hold out a radical historical past verify on any potential buy from the UK, as any issues may be that a lot tougher (and costlier) to kind out after buy. We at Motorcheck, in fact, stand prepared to assist…