889,441 used cars were sold in Ireland last year, according to the first ever ‘Carzone Motoring Report’ compiled by Carzone.ie.
The report is a bi-annual index which tracks trends in both the new and used car markets in Ireland. The data has been generated by a combination of the 200 million searches carried out on Carzone.ie in 2012, vehicle transactions carried out on Cartell.ie and an in-depth survey of over 1,300 car buyers.
In line with the current economic environment and reflective of the new car market challenges, Irish motorists are holding on to their cars for longer periods of time, according to the report. The average car in Ireland is now just over eight years old, compared to the average age of five in 2001.
German car manufacturers were the most popular in 2012, with BMW topping the list for the most searched for car marque. This was closely followed by Volkswagen and Audi, who ranked in second and third place respectively. Unsurprisingly, there was considerable interest in exotic brands, such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati, with over 2,300 monthly searches for Lamborghini models last year.
From over 200 million searches carried out on the site, 80 per cent were for diesel models, indicating the desire for car buyers to reduce their fuel bills and reflecting consumer spending trends. Furthermore, over 71 per cent of searches specified the precise car make and model, indicating that Irish car buyers know exactly what they are looking for.
The used car buying behaviour revealed a surge in searches on the last Monday of every month. Historically, the last Monday of January is the busiest day of the year for the site, with the first Tuesday of February the busiest day of the year for used car transactions. Employers need not be concerned, however, as the research suggests that of the searches did not take place during work hours. While searches are spread out during the day, Carzone.ie reports a significant increase in traffic between the hours of 8pm and 10pm.
“As Ireland’s leading online car website, we are delighted to be in a position to publish this ‘Carzone Motoring Report’ on a bi-annual basis. Despite a challenging new car market in 2012, the used car market remained somewhat buoyant with over 880,000 used car transactions and over 200 million visits to our website,” Warren Cray, E-Commerce director at Carzone.ie, commented.