3 April 2015

Fall in used car sales

New car sales continue to soar but figures released by Car History experts Motorcheck.ie show that used car sales were down by 8 percent in the first three months of 2015, writes Trish Whelan.

Michael Rochford, managing Director of Motorcheck.ie says used car sales suffered when the recession hit just like new car sales, but they have been slowly on the rise, and 2014 experienced a jump of 7 percent, or 57,000 units on the previous year. Of the 841,000 used car sales in 2014, the vast majority were between private buyers and sellers. "However, there were almost 172,000 used cars sold by the Motor Trade to private buyers in 2014, representing an increase of 20 percent in trade business or an increase of 28,000 units sold by the Trade to private buyers last year."

He said the decrease in used car sales has hit both private sales and trade sales with decreases of 9 and 13 percent respectively. He pointed out that inter-trade transactions are up slightly whilst private trade-ins to the trade have remained steady.

"This is a worrying trend as used cars are traditionally sold in much higher numbers than new cars and it's an important component of a healthy industry. What we are seeing now is the hangover from the fallow years in new car sales resulting in a shortage of good quality 2, 3, 4 and 5-year old stock combined with the shift in exchange rates which makes importing stock from the UK not as attractive as it was last year.

"What this all means for the consumer is less choice and availability and the knock-on effect is that prices of used cars are remaining steady, so it's a seller's market. In these situations, people feel under pressure to complete a deal and can make rash decisions, so always perform the necessary checks even if it seems like you might lose a rare deal."

Figures from Motorcheck.ie also show that the top makes imported for the first three months of this year were Ford, Volkswagen, Vauxhall (Opel here) and Audi.

Top models imported so far this year were the Ford Focus followed by the Volkswagen Passat, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Insignia.