John O’Mahony speaks with Brendan Keary of Keary’s Renault in Cork
There was never a better time to buy a used car — that’s the word to anyone looking to upgrade, trade in, purchase a second car, or planning to get behind the wheel for the first time.
With sales of new cars continuing to grow and heading for the 100,000 mark already, there is now a huge choice and range of quality secondhand cars on offer to suits all tastes and pockets.
The availability of credit and a range of attractive finance packages has seen a sharp rise in sales, with dealers across the country reporting a healthy increase in showroom footfall.
While consumers look for a variety of things when buying a new car — certain features, fuel efficiency, engine size, type of warranty — the main thing they have in common is they are all looking for value for money.
So the advice is to make a list of the items you feel are important in the car of your choice; then shop around to ensure you are getting the best deal available. The choice is there, the value is there, so there’s no time like the present if you’re in the market for a car, according to Brendan Keary, dealer principal of Kearys Renault on the Kinsale Road Roundabout in Cork.
“The used car sales market is in a good place at the moment. A range of factors have contributed to this rise and this year we have seen a jump in sales of about 50% year on year.
“With all the new cars going out, there is a great selection of used cars available. One of the main things driving that is the availability of finance packages and the popularity of PCP packages, which are available on cars up to 2013.
“So say if you were to going for a 2013 Renault Clio, you would need to put down a deposit or around €2,000, and your monthly payments would work out in the region of €178. So it makes it very affordable for someone to get into a used car,” he said.
Mr Keary believes that consumers are spoilt for choice — with plenty of options available in forecourts across the country.
“We have a great selection of cars on offer, with about 500 cars in stock. In terms of what customers are looking for, diesel is where it’s at at the moment. Roughly 85% of the cars we are selling at the moment are diesel, particularly in the bigger cars.”
He said there have been a few welcome editions to the market this year which is good news for consumers.
“The real emergence this year is the level of SUVs and jeeps on the market — they offer great space and are very practical for the whole family. The Qashqai, the Tucson and the Kadjar — they’re all proving very popular.
“What’s also new to the Irish market is the Dacia Duster — they usually retail for €17,000, but you can pick up a 2013 Duster for around €13,000. It has a 1.5 litre diesel engine, plenty of space and lots of spec, so it offers very good value for money.”
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