Vehicle history and data expert Cartell.ie has reported the size of the native Irish fleet is now at its lowest level since March 2006 (1.78 million ) as imports soar (488k ).
The size of the native fleet (vehicles first registered in Ireland ) fell quite dramatically in the final quarter of 2017, from recording 1.85 million in September to 1.78 million by the end of December. Cartell.ie tracked the size of the fleet (both native fleet and imported fleet ) on the first day of each month between January 1999 and January 2018. Between January 2017 and January 2018 the imported fleet has increased in size from 444,217 to 487,492 (+43,275 ). For the equivalent period the native fleet has declined from 1,838,573 to 1,784,716 (-53,857 ).
The size of the fleet oscillates throughout the year as vehicles leave the fleet and others enter (new and imported ). However the decline in size of the native fleet since September has been particularly notable.
John Byrne from Cartell.ie, says the impact of imports has been noticeable in 2017 as owners retire native vehicles and look to replace them with imported vehicles in ever increasing numbers.
"We would see imports remaining strong in 2018 alongside a curb in demand for new diesel vehicles. While hybrid and electric vehicle sales will continue to dominate headlines with analysts waiting for a headwind to bring in larger numbers of sales it’s still likely the dominant theme for 2018 will be imports.”