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Growth in used car prices continues with over 77% increase since pandemic began

Last quarter also saw a major boost in the stock of used electric vehicles listed on DoneDeal.

PRICES FOR SECONDHAND cars are now 77.5% higher than they were at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, according to data from Donedeal.

Figures for the first three months of 2023 showed strong consumer demand as prices grew by 4.6%, in contrast to the previous quarter where price inflation slowed to a 3-year low.

Between December 2022 and March 2023, monthly growth in demand on DoneDeal was significant, increasing by 21% in January and 15.5% in February. 

A small increase in the supply of cars of 5.3%, was likely not enough to meet demand, leading to strong price growth in Q1, analysis from the online marketplace found.

The increase in demand has also been translated into an increase in new car registrations: In Q1 of this year, 58,107 new cars were registered, representing an increase of 16.5% compared to the same period a year ago. 

Last quarter also saw a major boost in the stock of used electric vehicles listed on DoneDeal with almost triple the number of listings compared to any three month period in 2022. 

In Q1 9,303 new EVs were registered in Ireland, representing an almost 50% increase compared to the same period last year.

Donedeal’s data was reviewed by economist Dr. Tom Gillespie, who observed that price inflation was at a 3-year low of 1.4% at the end of last year.

“This slowdown at the end of 2022 resulted from weak demand and a modest recovery in supply. Slowdown in demand at the end of the calendar year is typical in Ireland as consumers wait for the new year to take advantage of the relative price drop at the start of the calendar year.”

He continued: “The steady transition of new EVs into the used car market is an encouraging sign from an environmental policy perspective, as an increase in supply should make EVs more affordable and encourage people to transition.”

“It is hoped that the charging infrastructure development will keep in line with the increased number of EVs on the road, especially in rural Ireland, where car emissions per person are highest.”

Imports also increased by 6.4% to a total of 12,385 in Q1 (the first annual increase since 2019).

The share of used cars being imported from the UK fell to a new low of 32.7%, compared to Q1 of 2020, when the share of all imported used cars coming from the UK was 93.6%.

Overall, used car imports to Ireland are down 53.5% in the first 3 months of 2023 when compared to the first three months of 2019.

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