53% rise in car imports from UK ‘a threat’

The 53% surge in car imports from Britain since the Brexit vote is a major challenge for the Irish car industry, Fianna Fáil has warned.

The number of vehicles imported from Britain rose from 45,454 in 2015 to 69,571 in 2016.

In the first nine months of this year alone, 70,000 such vehicles were registered.

Kerry Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil is warning that a crisis is looming for the Irish motor industry, as the number of imported cars from Britain rises.

Mr Brassil received a parliamentary reply from Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe saying that the number of cars imported into Ireland from Britain increased by 53% between 2015 and 2016.

“The trend has continued into 2017, with a further 69,439 registered by the first nine months of the year,” said Mr Brassil.

“By the end of September, nearly the same number had registered as in the whole of 2016.

“This is a direct result of the collapse in sterling, following the decision of the British people to vote to leave the European Union.”

While the number of cars being imported has dramatically increased, the latest CSO figures show that sales of new cars in Ireland have fallen.

Car sales declined by 10% in the first nine months of this year, with 121,595 new cars licensed in the year to September.

Mr Brassil added: “Irish car dealers, of both new and second-hand cars, are very fearful about what this surge in imported cars into the State will result in.

“Even with paying VRT, it is, in many cases, cheaper to travel to the UK and purchase a car there. The net result of this is stagnation in the sales of new cars and the bottom falling out of the second-hand car market.”

He called on Mr Donohoe to urgently convene a meeting with those in the motor industry to develop a national response to this “wave of cheap cars flooding the Irish market”.


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