Second-hand, imported cars from the UK continue to rise in popularity with the Irish consumer. In fact, the latest Consumer Market Monitor (CMM )* reports that second-hand cars imported from the UK will overtake the number of new cars sold in Ireland for the first time ever this year.
In 2007, imported second-hand sales were at just over 59,000. In the same year, new car sales in Ireland were at 180,000. However there has been a steady decline in the sale of new cars since then.
In the first three months of this year, new sales had dropped to just over 50,800. By contrast, imported second-hand car sales had risen to over 25,900 in the same quarter.
Michael Boland, lending and business development manager of First Choice Credit Union says they have also witnessed this trend locally, with a rise in borrowers taking out loans for second-hand, imported cars saying: "While we are firm believers at First Choice Credit Union that shopping locally for a car is the best way to go with some terrific value to be had, we are seeing a surge in car loan queries from people considering buying from the UK.
"We would urge anyone considering going to the UK to talk to us at First Choice Credit Union in the first instance. Our car loan is straightforward, affordable and fair with a great value 8.50% (8.87% APR ) rate."**
"When you arrange finance with us here at the credit union, you are effectively going as a cash buyer to the car dealer, and may well be able to negotiate a better deal. There are also other advantages with the credit union loan, including fast approval, flexible terms and there are never any hidden charges or fees.”
Michael also says there are a number of factors to consider before making the decision to buy a UK imported second-hand car. He says the following points are the most important: (1 ) Buy from a recognised car dealership in the UK and avoid buying privately if possible. Shop around online and ensure you are getting the best value possible. Choose your car before you go; (2 ) Inform the UK authorities that you are exporting a car by obtaining and filling out the V5C document; (3 ) You will need to make an appointment for a Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT ) inspection once back in Ireland, and you will also need to make the VRT payment; (4 ) You may also need to pay VAT if the car is less than six months old or has less than 6,000 kilometres clocked up; (5 ) You will need to purchase new registration plates; (6 ) Ensure you are fully up to date with all requirements and documents needed for importing a car by consulting the Citizens Information and the Revenue Commissioners websites and (7 ) Finally, once you have researched the imported vehicle and the associated costs of import, ensure you have also checked out your local car dealership. There is often great value to be found right on your doorstep.
Michael concluded saying: "Credit unions are not-for-profit, so our main concern when we are lending is always the financial wellbeing of the borrower. You can be assured of an affordable and ethical car loan when you come to us."
For further information please contact their lending team on (094 ) 9022969, email: [email protected], apply online at www.firstchoicecreditunion.ie or drop into any of their branches in Achill, Balla, Ballyhaunis and Castlebar.
*Published by the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
** For a €10,000, 5 year variable interest rate loan with 260 weekly repayments of €47.21, an interest Rate of 8.50%, a representative APR of 8.86%, the total amount payable by the member is €12,274.18. Information correct as at 11/06/2019.