Car dealers import vehicles from Japan after Brexit

Some car dealers in Ireland are now importing vehicles from Japan rather than Britain due to a VAT hike caused by Brexit.

According to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, three out of four cars sold in Ireland are used. The market is made up of Irish trade and imported vehicles.

However, since Brexit you now have to pay the UK VAT rate of 20% on cars imported from there, in addition to the Irish VAT rate of 23%.

Car dealers here say it is now cheaper to import European cars from Japan, which like Ireland has right-hand drive vehicles because they are not subject to 20% VAT unlike to British cars.

Eric Ryan, managing director of Ryan and Brien Motors in Bray, County Wicklow, said that before Brexit 90% of its fleet would come from the UK and would have been made up of premium cars such as BMWs, Audi and Volkswagen.

However, a lack of supply in this market and rising costs due to Brexit mean that it is now importing these European cars from Japan.

He said: “Bringing in the BMW from Japan versus bringing in from England right now is going to end up with a full price at the end of the day on the forecourt of around € 2,000 more for the model. British because of the additional costs of Brexit. “

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Society of Irish Motor Industry chief executive Brian Cooke said Brexit has now brought about a change in the used car market here.

“Well, we have seen a reduction in the proportion of used cars coming from the UK. It rose from 91% to around 82%, with a corresponding increase of 5% to around 10% in Japanese second-hand imports. been a change. “

He says there were a number of reasons why it was more economical to import a European car from Japan to Ireland than to import one from the UK.

“First of all, we had Brexit, which has gone up dramatically. The price of particularly old second-hand imports and we had a NOx charge that was introduced in the budget two years ago, again, which focused on older diesel cars.

“If you look at the profile of used Japanese imports, these are usually 6 or 7 year old gasoline cars, although they don’t have double VAT like older UK cars. they have customs charges, the actual NOx charges are significantly lower than importing diesel. “

The SMI says savings of 20% can be achieved in some cases, and with a lack of supply in the current market, the number of vehicles imported from Japan is likely to continue to increase.

“So we’ve seen about three and a half thousand used Japanese imports this year, compared to four and a half thousand last year, so you’d expect to see maybe double that amount, maybe 9,000 or 10,000 Japanese used imports entering Ireland this year. “

Car dealer Eric Ryan says it’s a weird situation to have to go halfway around the world rather than your nearest neighbor for cars, but it’s something many dealers like him are starting. now to do.

“I could see this coming myself and started doing it earlier. There are a lot of auto garages in the area that have now started doing it because it’s their only vehicle source.”

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