Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Romanian Car Caveat Starts Filling

December 4, 2008

While imports (particularly used car trading) seems to be stagnating in most parts of the world because of economic turn down, there are still many nations still empty of affordable cars. Romania is one such place. According to Financiarul.ro:

In the first ten months this year, the number of used cars from import rose 105%, to more than 205,000 units…

As you can see, the eastern European nation is starving for affordable vehicles and while brand-new models remains prohibitively high, used car imports are filling all the holes in the social landscape. While nearly all of these cars are coming from Western Europe, there may be room for Japanese exporters to find sales direct or indirectly from this situation. While it may not be affordable to export cars to Romania (worth finding out for those looking to expand), we can expect the need of replacement cars in those nations that are selling to Romania. Maybe we’ll see increased imports for Ireland/UK/Netherlands as a knock-on effect.

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Car Watch: Toyota Landcruiser Prado

November 14, 2008

The Toyota Landcruiser Prado has been a very popular SUV in Japan and other nations. The most obvious difference of it (the Prado) and the normal is that it’s noticably smaller. It goes by the name Lexus GX 470 in the United States, but it is still called Land Cruiser Prado in many other countries such as Australia, South Africa, and in the Middle East and Latin America.

To give an example, our friends at JCarBuys have a 2007 Toyota Landcruiser Prado available on stock. Here are some photos of how it looks:

KDJ120 - 2007 Toyota Landcruiser Prado TX-LIM - Black KDJ120 - 2007 Toyota Landcruiser Prado TX-LIM - Black KDJ120 - 2007 Toyota Landcruiser Prado TX-LIM - Black

As you can see, the Prado is very attractive and popular with importers in many countries that desire or need these types of vehicles. They also come with a lot of equipment. Here a list of some things you can see found in this type of car:

automatic air conditioning (climate control), anti-lock brakes, alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, sun roof, supplemental restraint system (air bags), four wheel drive, cd player, television, navigation, leather seats, stereo, tiptronic, 7-seats, and more.

Remember when your looking at different years in the Land Cruiser Prado model range, there are different different model generations:

  • First came the LC 70-Light series built on the J7 platform which was between 1984 and 1990
  • Second came the LC 70-Series also built on the J7 platform from 1990 to 1996
  • The LC 70-Series was replace by the LC 90-Series (J9 platform) during 1996 which last till 2002
  • Currently, the LC 120-Series has been in production on the J12 platform since 2003

You might want to consider such a vehicle for you and your customers if small, classy SUVs are popular in your country.

Information source – Wikipedia

New VRT Rates Start 1 July 2008 for Ireland

June 20, 2008

From 1 July 2008 in Ireland, Category “A” cars will be taxed based on the level of CO2 emissions and not engine size as before. Also, the 50% discount of VRT payable for hybrid electric and flexible fuel vehicles is replaced by VRT relief of up to €2,500 depending on the car’s age (for hybrids only). This will only apply to car registered after 30 June, while cars imported before will continue under the old system.

According to The Irish Revenue Commissioner’s Leaflet:

New Tax Regime

From 1 July 2008, VRT payable on category A vehicles will no longer be based on the engine size but rather on the level of CO2 emissions from the car. Linking the VRT rates to the level CO2 emissions will mean that individuals purchasing cleaner, low emission cars will pay less VRT while those opting to purchase higher emitting vehicles will pay more.

A seven-band CO2 emission system will apply. VRT will now be charged as a percentage of the OMSP (Open Market Selling Price) in accordance with the following table:

CO2 Emissions (CO2g/km) VRT Rates
0 – 120g 14% of OMSP
More than 120g/km up to and including140g/km 16% of OMSP
More than 140g/km up to and including 155g/km 20% of OMSP
More than 155g/km up to and including 170g/km 24% of OMSP
More than 170g/km up to and including 190g/km 28% of OMSP
More than 190g/km up to and including 225g/km 32% of OMSP
More than 225g/km 36% of OMSP

Importers of Japanese used cars must have the CO2 Emissions levels declared on their Export or Deregistration Certificate, or have a printout emissions certificate for your particular model from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. If you don’t have proof, you will be charged the highest rate (36%) regardless of how efficient the car is.

Also, as an incentive to by eco-friendly cars, you can get reductions based the car age for hybrids. That is, the younger the car is, more money is deducted. Of course there is a minimum amount that still must be paid, but here are the discount rates:

Hybrid, flexible fuel and electric vehicles

The current relief of 50% reduction of the VRT payable on Hybrid and Flexi Fuel vehicles is withdrawn from 30 June 2008.

A VRT remission up to a maximum of €2,500 will be available on such cars registered between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2010.

This relief is limited, on a sliding scale, depending on the age of the vehicle. The scale is as follows:

Age of vehicle Maximum amount which may
be remitted or repaid
New vehicle, first registration €2,500
Not a new vehicle but less than 2 years €2,250
2 years or over but less than 3 years €2,000
3 years or over but less than 4 years €1,750
4 years or over but less than 5 years €1,500
5 years or over but less than 6 years €1,250
6 years or over but less than 7 years €1,000
7 years or over but less than 8 years €750
8 years or over but less than 9 years €500
9 years or over but less than 10 years €250
10 years or over Nil

With effect from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2010, series production electric vehicles and electric motorcycles are exempt from VRT.

Note: There is no change for Category B (crew cabs, etc.), Category C (commercial vehicles) or Category M (motorcycles – other than electric motorcycles).

-Source: Change to the Tax Base

Driving On The Right Side… Of The Road Or Car?

April 11, 2008

As many of you may be aware, Japan is a RHD (Right Hand Drive) vehicle country like the UK. According to Wikipedia, about 34% of the world by population drive on the left, and 66% on the right. By roadway distances, about 28% drive on the left, and 72% on the right. To visualize this:

RHD vs. LHD on a World Map

Those in blue are RHD and those in red are LHD. The terms left or right hand drive refer to where the driver sits in the motor vehicle not where the car is on the road. So in the case of Japan, the steering wheel is on the right hand side.

Most markets that are already RHD will find much value in Japanese used vehicles. Areas such as South-East Asia, Oceania, Eastern Africa, and the British Isles are major importers. Because they use the same system as Japan, there are less hassles getting the vehicles imported. But just because a country doesn’t drive the same way as Japan doesn’t mean RHD vehicles can’t be imported.

For example, Russia is officially regulated for LHD traffic, but Japanese RHD cars are the single largest supplier of used cars to Russia. Last year over 440 thousand vehicles where exported from Japan into Russia. Russia is estimated to have more than 1.5 million RHD vehicles on its roads. In the far eastern regions, such as Vladivostok or Khabarovsk, RHD vehicles make up to 90% of the total. Many other LHD nations are also importing RHD in the thousands without any problems such as Canada, UAE, Chile, Mongolia, Cyprus, and Peru.

There are two considerations for importers. First, are RHD vehicles legally able to be imported, and more importantly, driven in your country. Even in the case that RHD autos cannot be used on your roads, many governments allow the vehicle to be modified so that it is switched to LHD.

The second consideration is if you are willing to drive “on the wrong side” or will you be able to sell cars to customers that are RHD. It is not a matter of being a safety hazard if the driver sits on the other side. A Canadian study showed that RHD drivers were more careful, thus less likely to get into accidents, than those who drove like normal.

It is also not about not getting able to feel comfortable driving RHD drive in a LHD nation. Most drivers who experience this challenge are able to overcome the awkwardness of driving differently within the first few hours on the road. The main issues are do you mind standing out a little bit and will it bring to much inconvenience to your lifestyle? For example, you’ll need a passenger to help you through drive-thru’s and at toll booths. If you don’t mind, and you can import, there are plenty of benefits.

Image and Statistics from Wikipedia under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Tighter Laws in Ireland for High-Emission Vehicles

December 7, 2007

Motor tax for cars with high emissions is to increase dramatically under new measures announced in a carbon budget by Minister for the Environment John Gormley.

Cars with the lowest emissions will be charged only €100, however, the cars in the top band will be obliged to fork out €2,000.

The measures for new cars will come into force from July.

More at http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/1206/budget.html

Additionally, VRT, or Vehicle Registration Tax, will be based also on Emission levels. Government’s proposed laws should, by linking the money in people’s pockets with emissions, reduce levels. According to the Government, car owners could benefit in reduced VRT rates if they choose greener cars.

More at http://www.rte.ie/news/features/budget2008/issues/airroadrail.html