More premium cars sought
It would appear that the Irish love affair with premium cars knows no end, as recent figures show that nearly 12,000 premium used cars have been sold so far this year compared to less than 10,000 for the same period in 2013.
The figures come from a Cartell.ie study, which found that some 15 per cent - or 345,431 cars - of the Irish fleet are from manufacturers that the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) classifies as 'premium.'
Of that number BMW is the most popular marque in the fleet with 93,520 compared to Audi in second (90,410) and Mercedes-Benz in third with 67,640. The BMW 3 Series is the most popular model, though the Audi A4 is expected to overtake it soon as BMW's decision to spin its coupé and convertible models off into the 4 Series name takes effect.
"Sales of premium vehicles are up over last year and this may well be a sign that the market is returning to normality - at least at the top end", commented Cartell Director, Jeff Aherne. While 15 per cent is a sizeable chunk of the Irish fleet it is still a relatively small number, but premium models are twice as likely to be imported as a mainstream car. Of the 345,431 models on the fleet a full 31 per cent (or 107,182 cars) were imported from outside the country. This compares to a rate of 17 per cent for the rest of the fleet. A diversity of models and the availability of higher specifications are two of the reasons consumers may be going abroad for their higher end cars.
What does it all mean?
With so many buyers taking to importing cars Cartell.ie is advising consumers to carry out a thorough vehicle history check before committing to any purchase. The rate of clocking in the UK market is currently between five- and six per cent, and the number of imported vehicles listed as previously written off in the UK is as high as 10 per cent.
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