We know we are bringing in lots more UK imports than last year, but maybe we need to have the huge volume of diesels highlighted once again.
Vehicle history and data expert Cartell.ie discloses in a new report how we’re importing diesel vehicles of all sorts in “significant numbers”.
It tracked imports up to the end of September and found that the vast majority (76pc, or more than three-in-every four) were diesel.
Such a high proportion of three and four-year-old diesels will lend further strength to industry claims that we are importing vehicles which are emitting more harmful gases than the brand new vehicles being sold, in reduced numbers, here.
It is a vicious cycle: cheaper, older and dirtier imports are replacing more expensive, new and cleaner models.
As of now, there appears to be little that anyone can do, given the current political climate.
Side by side with the big number of diesels has been a sizeable increase in the number of hybrid (+193pc) and electric vehicles (+148pc) brought in.
More Fords are being imported than any other brand, Cartell says. They are followed by Volkswagens, Audis and Toyotas. The most popular model imported year-to-date is the Volkswagen Golf, with the Ford Focus second.
Buyers are going for either three-year-old or four-year-old vehicles as their main choices.
Small-family cars top their shopping list, with larger family/fleet vehicles second.
John Byrne of Cartell.ie says: “This snapshot of the Irish market shows the Irish buyer is especially keen to import a diesel vehicle, usually a three or four-year-old and often a Focus, Golf, or Qashqai – models which have been consistently popular in the domestic market.”
Mr Byrne also says the rise in the numbers of electric vehicles and hybrids/plug-ins shows “buyers of those types of vehicles can see the value of importing and also points to a growth in the market for those vehicle types”.
And how long will the current level of imports continue? “Overall, we would see imports remaining strong until at least the due date for Brexit next in March 2019.”
Meanwhile, when we talk of used imports, we invariably think of cars. But there are significant numbers of commercials being brought in as well.
So much so that, when added to the numbers of cars, the total number of imports is now rushing towards the 100,000 mark.
That breaks down, according to latest SIMI statistics, along the following lines:
• 84,112 second-hand passenger imports year to date – an increase of 9.2pc on the corresponding period for last year.
• And 11,555 light commercials – a slight drop of 1.2pc.
The thing about imports is that the numbers seem to remain constant (or increase) from month to month.
For example, nearly 7,000 have been registered so far in October, which is six times the number of a seasonally low level of new-car sales.
New-car registrations for the year to date are running at around 124,000.