Used car imports last year were highest on record - CSO

Used imports were up 31.9% on previous year with vast majority over three years of age

The CSO reports that 92,508 used imports were taxed for the first time in 2017, up 31.9 per cent on the previous year.

The CSO reports that 92,508 used imports were taxed for the first time in 2017, up 31.9 per cent on the previous year.

 

The number of used cars imported into the country last year was the highest on record, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The CSO reports that 92,508 used imports were taxed for the first time in 2017, up 31.9 per cent on the previous year. The most popular imported brands were Ford (12,531), Volkswagen (12,398), Audi (7,995) and Toyota (6,999). The vast majority of imports are over three years of age: 49.2 per cent are between three and five-years of age; 27.3 per cent are between six and nine-years-old; and 4.8 per cent are over 10 years. A further 16.7 per cent are between one and two years-old.

The latest figures also show that 127,045 new private cars were taxed for the first time in 2017, down from 141,931 the previous year. All but three counties (Cavan, Roscommon and Waterford) showed a decrease in the number of new cars taxed for the first time in 2017 compared with the previous year. Volkswagen (13,609) was the most popular car brand during the year, followed by Toyota (12,207), Ford (11,660), Hyundai (11,127) and Nissan (9,954). Together these five makes represent 46.1 per cent of all new private cars.

The figures differ slightly from those published by earlier in the month by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, which record new cars as they are registered. Currently vehicles are not permitted to leave dealerships without registration plates but it is the duty of the new owner to look after the motor tax. Therefore there can be a delay in the alignment between the figures for new cars first registered and those licensed - or taxed - for the first time.

Some dealers and distributors will also register cars to meet sales targets but will not tax them until they actually take to the public roads. These vehicles are known in the business as pre-registrations or pre-registered vehicles. Often these are sold off by dealers as demonstrators at a discount.