Second-Hand Cars in Ireland ‘the most expensive in Europe’ – Carthy

SF TD calls for government action as Brexit increases costs


Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has expressed frustration at what he described as Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s ‘disinterest’ in addressing soaring second-hand car costs that have increased even further post Brexit.


Deputy Carthy raised the matter with An Taoiseach during an interaction on Promised Legislation last week.  He expressed frustration that Micheál Martin showed no appetite to resolve the fallout from Brexit that has resulted in additional costs on second-hand car sales which are already the most expensive in Europe.  The situation is hitting consumers hard and threatening the viability of thousands of car dealerships across the state.


Deputy Matt Carthy told the Taoiseach:


“One of the more bizarre and unfortunate consequences of Brexit has been the impact of Revenue’s interpretation of third country rules on second-hand car sales.


“Due to the size of that market and because we share a right-hand drive system, Britain has been the source of a large proportion of our second-hand vehicles.


“The new situation means that, bizarrely, a car produced in Britain can enter the Irish market at no extra cost while a car produced in the EU before being traded in Britain incurs a further 10% customs levy on entering the Irish market – on top of VAT at 21% – and on top of VRT charges.


“This makes second-hand cars in this State the most expensive in Europe.


“Will the Taoiseach commit to engaging with Revenue, the Department of Finance and our EU counterparts to see if this situation can be resolved in the interest of consumers and the businesses involved?”


In his response, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said:


“This issue was not caused by Revenue but by Brexit.


“This is how the trade agreement has been interpreted, and not only by the EU.


“We are engaging with the European Union with regard to a number of goods which have been similarly affected by third country status when traded from Europe into the UK before returning to the EU through Ireland. That is the position.


“It is not bizarre but one of the real foreseeable, predictable consequences of Brexit.


“That is why I always felt Brexit was a very bad idea.  I believe many companies in Britain do not yet realise how bad an idea it is for many British jobs, companies and businesses. This is the unfortunate reality of Brexit.


“We will engage with the EU on these issues, but it is the reality of Brexit.”


Following the debate Deputy Carthy said:


“The Taoiseach seems to take the approach that this a result of Brexit and people will have to live it. That won’t provide much comfort to those looking to purchase second-hand cars today and paying well over what anyone would find reasonable.  It will provide little comfort to those car dealerships concerned about their viability.


“I made a straightforward request to the Taoiseach to ask him to speak to government departments and agencies as well as the EU deliver solutions to this problem.  I am disappointed with the Taoiseach’s response but I intend to pursue this matter over the coming weeks.”


Second-Hand Cars in Ireland ‘the most expensive in Europe’
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