The outlook for the motor industry is positive according to the latest Motoring Report from car buying experts Carzone. The bi-annual index which examines trends in the Irish motoring market, finds that almost half of Irish people (45%) plan to buy a car in the next year. The Carzone Motoring Report is compiled by analysing data from the 108 million searches carried out on Carzone in the first 10 months of the year, as well as an in depth survey of 1,610 Irish motorists nationwide.
Buying a car in 2017
Of those planning to buy a car in 2017, 28% say they intend to spend €10,000 – €20,000 while a significant 27% say they will spend between €20,00 and €40,000. Given that over 1 in 4 are planning to spend up to €40,000, it’s no surprise that 2016 is the most searched for year at 16% while 2012 is the second most popular year at 10%.
According to the Carzone Motoring Report, a quarter will use savings to buy a car next year while 1 in 5 intend to take out a loan from a Credit Union and 13% will look at a finance option such as PCP indicating that all finance options are on the rise.
Of those planning to sell their car next year, over 1 in 5 (22%) will do so online while 37% will sell their car as part of a trade-in. In general, men are more confident about selling their car online than women (49% vs. 29%)
While the impact of Brexit on the industry remains to be seen, a resounding 91% of those questioned say that it has not impacted or delayed their decision to buy a car next year.
The cost of running a car
The cost of car insurance is now the number one financial concern for Irish motorists up two places from last year. Fuel, last year’s number one issue, is now second while motor tax is third.
Given that fuel is a key concern, it’s no surprise that 68% say the most recent car they purchased is diesel up 14% from 2015 while 32% have a petrol car down 13% year-on-year.
When it comes to running a car, the Carzone Motoring Report reveals that over half (54%) spend up to €250 per month on car costs such as fuel, tax, insurance, repairs and servicing while 14% spend in excess of €300 per month.
The report also finds that over half prefer to pay tax and insurance in lump sums (53% and 58% respectively). Just under a third 32% say the opt to pay their motor tax quarterly while 41% pay their insurance by monthly direct debit. 53% of 18-34 year olds opt to pay via direct debit.
Ireland’s most searched for cars
The Volkswagen Golf remains the most searched for used car on Carzone. However, the Ford Focus which featured in second place last year, has been moved down to fifth place. New to the top six this year is the Audi A4 and the Mercedes E-Class indicating the growth of the premium used car market.
The top 6 most searched for cars on Carzone in 2016 are:
BMW 5 Series
BMW 3 Series
In keeping with concerns around fuel costs, 81% searched for a diesel car on Carzone (+3% year-on-year) while searches for petrol cars remained flat at 16% vs. 17% in 2015. The report also notes that sales for petrol/electric hybrids are up 58% compared to the same period last year while electric car sales increased 94% year-on-year.
Learning to drive
On average the majority of people learned to drive between the ages of 17-20 (40%) age while 29% claim they learned to drive before the legal age of 17! Over half (58%) passed their test first time around. The survey finds that slightly more men passed first time than women (59% vs. 51%) while 30% of men passed their test on the second attempt compared to 29% of women.