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OneSwoop predicts record unofficial import sales in 2001

The highest ever share of the UK's car buyers will look to the Continent for their new Y-registration car today, according to figures from UK online car retailier OneSwoop (

OneSwoop estimates that 10,000 new Y-registration cars will be sourced from continental dealers each month this year.

Tom Buehlmann, OneSwoop marketing director, commented, "Fed up with empty promises on lower UK car prices, the consumer is turning away from traditional UK dealers for their Y-registration car. In addition, consumers are beginning to realise that online retailers, such as OneSwoop, are removing the hassle originally associated with importing a new car by taking care of the entire process from online order to door-step delivery.

"With huge savings on some models and growing awareness of this new found convenience, we believe consumers are now asking themselves 'Y-buy in Britain'."

David Sumner-Smith, publisher of Car Import Guide magazine, said, "Although manufacturers have suggested that the cost of UK cars has dropped significantly since last year, prices have only fallen by 1.7 per cent in real terms. This has exerted some downward pressure on requests for imports, but the ease of purchasing from abroad through parallel operators - where an intermediary organises the transaction - has actually increased consumer demand. With the introduction of trade-in and financing options, consumers are increasingly ready to buy their new car from parallel importers.

“More than 100,000 new cars have been unofficially imported during the last 12 months, out of a total of less than one million new sales to private motorists in the UK. Importing is no longer a fringe activity; it is becoming a major part of the car market."

Those car buyers turning to online importers can enjoy savings of up to 20 per cent on some models, says OneSwoop.

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