The boom is back: We’re now shelling out at least €30,000 on our new cars


Photo posed
Photo posed

We are now spending an average of €30,000+ on a new vehicle, a special report reveals.

However, it doesn’t mean prices have suddenly soared.

The study by respected car-history company Cartell.ie outlines how the current figure is €5,000 more than we spent on a new vehicle in the depths of the depression in 2011.

But the €30,130 average so far this year is only €2,000 or so higher than what we were paying at the height of the boom in 2007.

At that time, the average value of a purchased new vehicle was €28,106.

So while it might appear prices have increased a lot, in effect there has been a series of rises for new private vehicle sales (in the vast majority of cases cars) over the past few years in line with the better economic environment.

It can also be argued that the increases are more than accounted for when higher spec levels and new technologies (buyers expect them to be in virtually all vehicles nowadays) are taken into account.

Nonetheless, the study by Cartell.ie suggests several factors are at play in breaking through the €30,000 threshold.

Among them are:

• People having more disposable income and/or access to a greater number of credit options.

• The growth of Personal Contract Plans (PCPs) is a prime example of credit fuelling increased numbers of new-car deals. Some PCP strategists have cleverly designed packages to encourage choice of higher spec and, therefore, costlier vehicles.

• Buyers are opting for more costly vehicle types such as SUVs and crossovers, which are increasingly popular.

• Many motorists need bigger cars to cater for larger families. The population has increased to 4.76 million (Census 2016) from 4.23 million (Census 2006 ), prompting demand for more vehicles and more space in them.

• Costs of vehicle production have increased in line with regulations for broader compulsory inclusion of several safety elements and emission devices.

• Consumers expect higher specification items as standard: larger wheels, alloys, on-board technology, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). They all push up prices.

John Byrne of Cartell.ie says buyers are getting more technology, safety and accessories in their cars and the combined effect is a higher spend on new models.

He adds: “Buyers are keen to buy a larger car when fuel economy and motor taxation figures have dropped so significantly across the board.”

The study looked at average values of new private vehicles based on the open market selling price (OMSP).

Actual deals struck between the buyer and the seller can vary widely when discounts, promotions and trade-in values are taken into account.

It is also informative to see how the average value of a new car fluctuated with the fortunes of the economy.

In 2007 the average amount spent on a new car was €28,106.

That plunged to €24,758 in 2011 but has increased steadily every year since then as the economic environment improved.

In 2016 the average value was already back to boom-time levels (€28,385) with a 4pc increase to €29,481 last year.

For the first 6 months of this year, the average price of a new, private vehicle hit €30,130.

The report says: “This shows the average Irish buyer is now buying a vehicle worth €30,000 for the first time since Cartell started recording these statistics.”

Indo Motoring

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