Ireland’s newly minted pandemic millionaires are among those spending on luxury cars costing hundreds of thousands of euros. According to a leading dealer of new and used luxury vehicles, sales have reached levels “not seen since the Celtic Tiger”.
Since January, Ireland’s rich have snagged a record number of Ferraris, Porsches, Aston Martins and other high-performance cars.
Several social media accounts have been set up in Ireland for “supercar spotting”.
Jeremy Beshoff of Beshoff Motors in Baldoyle, Dublin, says negative interest rates are fueling demand as customers make better use of cash and invest in models that “like a piece of art” will appreciate in value over time.
However, the vast majority are bought to “have fun and enjoy the money”.
In the last 12 weeks, purchases include a Aston Martin DB11 Volante (worth over €250,000), a Ferrari 488 GTB (worth over €300,000), two Bentley Continentals (each up to €200,000), two Mercedes SLS 63 AMG Gullwings (both as an investment for unnamed Totals sold over 300,000 euros), two Mercedes G-Wagen (around 300,000 euros) and a Porsche 911 Turbo (also in the 300,000 euros class).
“Since January we have sold five Ferraris, seven Porsches and four Aston Martins,” says Beshoff. “Our biggest problem is getting enough cars to meet demand due to a global shortage of spare parts. We have just launched a Bentley Bentayga SUV worth over €270,000 and two customers are now showing interest. I haven’t seen anything like it since Celtic Tiger.”
Beshoff says his clients – who are almost exclusively men – have had success during the Covid lockdown: “Some people have done very well in the pandemic and if anything it’s boosted the business and they’ve built a lot of money – 99 percent are Irish and the majority are cash buyers.
“Business people who have benefited from selling PPE and hygiene services during the pandemic have been customers. Some have bought several cars from us in the last two years.
“I had a guy the other day who bought a Range Rover and he said it was two damn years ago but he let his hotel rooms out to the HSE and it paid the bills. Now things are open again, his business is already back to pre-pandemic levels. I also had a guy who develops software for people who work from home.”
Beshoff, who runs the family business with his wife Nicole, says record low interest rates are also a factor: “Once you hear them talk about negative interest rates, you know they have over a million in the bank and they’re looking at ways around it to spend I had a guy on me the other day who had his eye on a particular Rolex watch but they told him there was a 10 year waiting list. At least with cars, they can use and enjoy it.
“There is also the investment side. Take the Gullwing for example. Mercedes only built the gullwing for four years, then stopped production. Only one was sold new in Ireland in 2011 and now there are three or four in the country.
In the last two or three years, their value has increased again. You wouldn’t go to the stores with it. It’s like art – beautiful to look at.”
The Revenue Agency has sought to get some of the action on supercars imported from the UK by raising the Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) by 4 per cent on January 1, on top of the 1 per cent fee imposed on those imported from the UK last year imported vehicles. The result is that buyers have to pay 41 per cent VRT, 23 per cent VAT and 10 per cent tariff on UK imports.
But Beshoff says many are now bypassing Irish dealers and buying and registering cars in Northern Ireland and the UK.
“If you buy the car here and register it, you pay almost the price of the car again in import taxes and duties until the car comes into the country.
“If you look at the photos of supercars spotted on Instagram in Dublin, 90 per cent have English number plates. Ireland gets none of this since they increased taxes. It’s like an income tax hike – people just go abroad.”
Supercar buyers, Beshoff says, “register their car with family or friends or a company and take a chance and take the cars with them on the weekends.”
Even if they spend six figures on a car, he adds: “The question of how high the vehicle tax is comes up again and again. If anything, the people who spend that much money are getting wiser as the price level goes up. I think that’s how they did it.”
https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-news/sales-of-supercars-roar-back-to-celtic-tiger-levels-41515259.html “Supercar” sales are back to Celtic Tiger levels