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It is early days and lots can happen over the remainder of this month and first quarter, but used imports are running substantially below last January.

That may be due to many things, but I can’t help speculating it is partially down to the October Budget imposition of NOx tax on imports from January 1.

Big numbers of imports may have been stockpiled late last year to get in ahead of the tax and that could account for some of the early new-year fall-off.

The fact of the matter is, however, that in a price-sensitive arena, a diesel car costing €700/€800 more than it used to can be quickly left behind.

A car with NOx emissions of 90 milligrammes per kilometre (mg/km) would invoke a charge of €850.

The first 60mg/km is at €5/mg so that comes to €300.

The next 20mg/km is levied at €15 (€300) and the final 10mg/km is hit for €25 (€250), making a grand total of €850.

Many older diesels could easily incur a doubling of that level of tax.

It will be fascinating to watch how imports go over the next few weeks.

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