During our time in the motor trade, we at Dermot Wallace Motors have and continue to import cars from the United Kingdom (UK) to Ireland. In the past this task seemed too much for the average customer due to the mountains of paperwork and substantial costs associated with bringing a car into the Emerald Isles. This has become a thing of the past due to the endless political turmoil in the UK having weakened the pound. The Irish consumer has taken note of this and has taken advantage of this phenomenon while it lasts.

As of December 2018, 92,508 used cars entered Ireland, 49.2% of which were three to five years of age. This figure is set to increase further with 49,932 used cars entering Ireland from the UK in the first half of 2019.


Some of you may ask what this means for new car sales in Ireland. For those curious enough to ask, the number of new cars registered in Ireland is down 7.4% in the first six months of 2019.


What is the incentive to buy used from the UK and not buy a new Irish car?

For your everyday consumer who is considering a new car vs a 2nd hand import from the UK, you are likely to save money on the import if the following criteria is met. One, the VAT has already been paid should the vehicle come from a EU member state unless the car is ‘new’; i.e. a six month old car or a car with less than 4,000 miles. Second, the VRT, a percentage of the car’s open market selling price is less than it would cost to buy the car new.


Recently we at Dermot Wallace Motors located, collected and registered a car on behalf of one of our clients. During our drive to Holyhead Port, we discussed the impact that the importation of UK registered cars has had on the Irish economy. While such freedom provides the customer with a broader choice of models, spec and conditions of cars to choose from, the car dealer has been hurt in the process. The importation of car from the UK has irrevocably damaged the Irish motor trade to a point where it is unlike to recover from. Numerous dealerships have closed over the last 12-18 months as loyal customers have gone abroad, believing they can get a better deal on their own.


This phenomenon is picking up steam but will seemingly fizzle out due to what is happening across the pond.


What happens if there is a no-deal Brexit?

Should a no-deal Brexit be in our futures, consumers importing cars from the UK will be liable to pay customs tariffs; 20% on diesel cars and 10% on petrol cars. This will not only hurt the consumers wallets but it will also mark the end of an era. The free movement of goods will become a thing of the past, something we hope will not be the case.Brexit March


What do I need to import a car from the UK?

For those in search of information about how to import a car from the UK and what you need to do, click here.

If you would like to see a recent case where we imported a Mercedes-AMG E63 S on behalf of one of our customers, click here.

If you have any questions or inquiries about the importation of a car please contact us, we will do our best to help where we can. In our 40 years of working in the motor trade, we at Dermot Wallace Motors have imported countless cars too and from the UK. If you are looking to source a car or import one from outside of Ireland, click here!


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