Weak pound attracts foreign RHD car buyers to UK market
The number of right-hand drive market visitors to the UK in search of savings on new cars has peaked since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union
The fallen value of pound sterling since Brexit is attracting more European car buyers in search of right-hand drive (RHD) bargains to the UK, according to a car-selling website.
Motors.co.uk says that its traffic from Ireland has risen by 151 per cent, while Cypriot and Maltese visits to the site were up by 117 per cent and 43 per cent respectively in October, compared with the same month in 2015.
Since the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), the value of the pound has dropped to €1.11 (accurate at the time of writing), meaning that buyers from right-hand drive European markets can save money compared to domestic deals.
Due to the pound’s fluctuating value, several manufacturers have increased their prices in the UK, while the Government continues to fight to keep the UK’s automotive manufacturing industry safe. MG Motor recently withdrew its final assembly operations from the UK, with Brexit cited as a factor in the decision.
Despite the turmoil predicted ahead of the EU referendum, both production and registration of new cars has continued to rise. Nissan’s decision to keep its Sunderland plant running after the UK leaves the EU was a result of intense negotiations between boss Carlos Ghosn and the Government.
Motors.co.uk’s director of marketing and business intelligence, Dermot Kelleher, said: “The impact of the falling pound has already been observed in other industries, such as consumer electronics, with premium tablets effectively costing up to £80 (€90) less one side of the Irish border than the other, and it stands to reason that the savings on even more expensive goods such as cars could be even greater – encouraging more European consumers to spend in the UK.”