Is Your Car Increasing in Value?

The number of new cars registered in Ireland is frequently used as a barometer for economic activity.
The graph below makes grim viewing for anyone involved in the sale of new cars as it reminds us of the dramatic fall that occurred in 2009 where the previous years total of 148,669 new cars registered fell to a new low of 55,578.
This created an unprecedented drop of 63% and led to thousands of jobs being lost in a sector that has been slow to recover.

New car sales in Ireland

However the motor industry relies on more than new car sales to survive. Servicing the national fleet of 1.9 million cars with Used Car Sales, Repair & Maintenance Services and Parts Retailing are all important areas of a successful dealership and are directly linked to new car sales as the embryo for our national fleet.

What does this mean for our used car market?

The 63% fall in car sales in 2009  is only now beginning to show its effects in the used car market. Small numbers of new cars being registered means small numbers of used cars entering the market as part exchanges which in turn contributes to a knock-on effect for the supply of used cars for years afterwards.
Our UK neighbours are experiencing similar problems and a recovery in sterling against the euro has hampered our ability to jump across the water and simply import the required quota.
All this points to an increased demand for quality used cars.

Benefits for Buyers and Sellers

This means that Irish sellers can expect to see;

  • an increase in the amounts being offered as 'Part Exchange' against a new car purchase
  • more and more activity amongst used car dealers offering 'Cash for Cars' (try this google search)
  • a premium being offered for band A or B cars in the dealer and private market.

Unfortunately for buyers this will mean;

  • greater difficulty in hunting down a bargain
  • a rise in the number of used car scams as criminals attempt to cash in on buyers desperate to find the right car

Your Experiences

If you're currently selling a used car privately or considering a part exchange against a new car we'd be delighted to hear about your experiences.
If you've been approached by a dealer offering you close to your asking price or you sold your car quicker than you expected feel free to tell us about it by leaving a comment below.

Patrick - August 04, 2010 at 9:49 pm
Car values appreciating, in ireland, I don't think so. Years ending in xxx9 are never spectacular given our date obsesssed registration plate system. 1989 / 1999 and 2009 will never go down as years for stellar car sales. Why would they, in fairness everyone holding out for the new reg? Supply in the UK will remain strong for the foreseeable with a relatively strong Euro (anywhere above 79p) that's where the supply will come from. Choice, spec and vehicle condition (especially for us badge obsessed Irish buyers) ensures that the importation of cars from the UK will remain high among private and trade buyers alike.
Shane Teskey - August 05, 2010 at 11:21 am
Hi Patrick, Thanks for your comment. I'm not so sure about supply from the UK remaining strong. In its analysis of the used car market in 2009, UK valuation experts CAP said "a major driving force behind rising values this year has been supply. In 2007 before the economic downturn took hold the market could have been said to have been ‘over supplied’. There were significant levels of ‘short cycle’ business, possibly unsupportable levels of self-registration and higher volumes of new car production. By 2008 manufacturers started to feel the pinch with new car production levels dropping off and further caution evident by the reduced levels of short-cycle business. A year later and the number of nearly-new cars available dropped and supply began to dry up. Demand began to outstrip supply and competition for the best cars and deals increased." If this trend continues throughout 2010 and 2011 we could find that sourcing good quality cars at the right price will be much more difficult than before.