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UK car imports spend races 181% higher in summer months – Fexco

UK car imports spend races 181% higher in summer months – Fexco

New figures show that Irish motorists increased their spending on cars imported from the UK by 181% in July and August compared to the same two months in 2018.

The figures show that the country’s car import boom is picking up speed as the deadline to Brexit looms ever nearer, Fexco International Payments said.

The analysis of 1,500 purchases made through Fexco International Payments also found the number of UK vehicles imported by Irish drivers in July and August was up by 175% year-on-year.

Fexco said the the figures are even more breathtaking when compared to those recorded in July and August of 2016, the months following the Brexit referendum in the UK.

Since then, Irish consumers’ spend on cars imported from the UK has jumped by a huge 451%, while the number of import transactions has raced 291% higher.

Fexco said its data suggests the import boom is being driven mostly by individual motorists rather than car dealers.

Car dealers increased their spending on UK imports by a more modest 61% between 2016 and 2019, a fraction of the 451% surge in import spending made by drivers themselves.

The Kerry-based company’s records also suggest Irish drivers are capitalising on the euro’s strength to treat themselves to a higher-spec car from the UK.

The average amount spent per car in July and August was €16,197, an increase of 32% on the amount of money spent three years ago.

Fexco also said that imports may have been given extra impetus by buyers looking to do a deal before any change in tax and tariffs that might follow a hard Brexit on October 31.

David Lamb, head of dealing at Fexco International Payments, said that the final countdown to Brexit – and the rising possibility of a no deal – have “turbocharged” the popularity of used car imports among Irish motorists.

“The combination of the euro’s current strength against the pound, and the nagging fear that a no-deal Brexit could lead to the imposition of trade barriers between the UK and Ireland, have created a sweet spot that’s prompting many Irish drivers to secure a good import deal while they can,” Mr Lamb said.

“While a chaotic no deal Brexit at the end of October could undermine sterling even further, many tactical car-buyers are concluding that the already favourable exchange rate and tariff-free trade together make a compelling import opportunity,” he added.

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