Like everything else, new car sales were down in 2009. Way back when the daily drumbeat of news wasn't so negative, everyone and their neighbour were taking a last fling. 2007 was the best year for new car sales since 2000. 2008 saw a decline in sales, but it wasn't until the end of the year that sales took a complete nosedive.
In 2009, the government reported that Vehicle Registration Tax were down 86% on the 2008 figures! The first car dealerships went to the wall and that wall was expected to get crowded. Predictions were for 3 car dealerships to fold every week.
The government's response was a scrappage scheme for the industry. The results were impressive with new car sales up 52%. Everyone likes a deal and it was a great deal if you had a ten year old old banger hanging around.
Scrappage Scheme 2010
Lots of industries are being decimated in Ireland's depression. But, some are more equal than others.
The auto industry is clearly one of the latter. Nothing about the industry is crucial to Ireland's economic well-being since zero cars are actually manufactured here.
Nonetheless, industry lobbyists convinced the Minister of Finance to put in place a tax rebate when cars ten years or older are traded in for a new car.
Car companies are pitching in, adding their own rebates on top of the government's. Those Irish people with money still jangling in their pocket - a vanishing breed - are advised to take advantage of this one year offer.
The Revenue Commissioners put up a page that sest out the rules and answer all sorts of hypothetical questions ("I was away for three months last year and suspended my insurance. Am I eligible for the scheme?").
The scrappage scheme runs until 31st December, 2010.
Used Car Sales
You'd think that the reduction in new car sales would translate to a healthy used car market. Nope.
So many vehicles have been repossessed that the market is glutted. The Eastern Europeans who have cleared out now that the boom has ended and the construction sites are closed have been getting rid of their cars as well before they move back to their left side drive countries of origin.
And anyone with cents is trying to hold onto them. Why bother trading in the divil ye know for someone else's loser. So, folks are nursing their old cars just that bit further.
In addition, the
National Car Test resulted in a huge loss of interest in cars older than 4
years. Under this programme,
all cars that are 4 years old or older need to undergo an bi-annual checkup
to ensure their roadworthiness. And cars 10 years old or older now require an annual check-up.
Maybe the doctors should start lobbying for an annual required check-up. That would be as least as useful. I'm just not sure how the scrappage scheme would work.
Check out the car test page for details.
Nonetheless, good values are still to be found, the trade press
advises, among two or three year old cars. The brands that retain particularly
good trade-in value are Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Toyota.
useful vehicles are fetching prices well under €1,000 - if you buy them privately. Such vehicles may suffice as second cars - assuming they
pass the annual safety check. Auto dealers usually sell all vehicles with a 6 month guarantee. If anything goes wrong, they will fix it free of charge. But, you pay for this reasssurance and you're unlikely to find any amazing deals. On the other hand, the dealers know that if they keep you happy, eventually you're likely to return.
Again, because of the car test,
be very careful about buying any vehicle older than 4 years.
Be sure to get a certificate that it has passed the Car Test
BEFORE purchasing an older car. You might drive off the lot with
a car that could fail the test the next month. At that point,
its value would be zero.
Totally Free Cars
http://dublinwaste.ie/ has established a “Free Trade” website. This timely site “allows you to pass on or pick-up unwanted goods in Dublin free of charge. Browse the online database for items or set up an account and start listing your unwanted goods today.”
On the day I checked, there were 4 free ladies bicycles available, a colour TV, a washing machine and fridge, a whole bunch of 3 piece furniture suites, a Ford Fiesta, an old Toyota Starlet, and much more. Just send an email, arrange to pick up the item and away you go.
Just remember that you might be saving someone else the trouble of hauling the "free" car to the dump. Or, you may find a perfectly fine car that someone moving overseas just wants to send to a good home.
As desperation grips the industry, anyone with money in hand has the upper hand. The car companies and the dealers want what you have and they'll do what they have to do go get it.
Now's the time to channel that inner SOB.
More Info on Prices, Finance and Lots of Other
For more information and links, order the Full
Just for starters, you're not likely to get finance
for your car upon just moving here. Check out the full site for details and