Diesel demand still high in Ireland

Diesel car sales in Ireland will decline like the UK’s but not nearly at the same pace, according to a motoring analyst.

Diesel demand still high in Ireland

By Pádraig Hoare

Diesel car sales in Ireland will decline like the UK’s but not nearly at the same pace, according to a motoring analyst.

Dismal diesel March car sales in the UK, traditionally the strongest month, were reported as the motor industry struggles to adjust to the clampdown on the fuel ordered by countries in Europe.

Sales of diesel cars in the UK were down a third, with registrations in the UK down almost 16% in March.

Managing director of Motorcheck.ie, Michael Rochford said the downward trend of diesel was also happening in Ireland for new cars but there was still a long way to go to catch up to the UK in terms of second-hand cars.

The option for Irish motorists to purchase expensive diesel cars like Audi, Mercedes and BMW, with higher specifications and at a much lower price than in the Republic, is still hugely popular, he said.

“New diesel sales have slumped all over Europe as the fallout from the emissions scandal has seen governments planning to impose taxes and charges on higher polluting vehicles.

Ireland is following the trend of the UK for new diesel sales where penalties are already in place. In the Irish market, new diesel sales are down 20% year on year and down 30% in March. Interestingly however, sales of used diesel imports from the UK is up 7% year on year.

“It seems demand in the used car market is still being driven strongly by the value that can be picked when it comes to second-hand diesel vehicles from the UK,” he said.

Mr Rochford said that the impact on second-hand values of cars at the end of personal contract plans had not yet been affected by cheaper UK imports.

Central Bank economists have warned of the potential for some PCP cars to enter negative equity as second-hand values are dragged down by the influx of UK cars.

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