Cross-border trade in new and used cars has escalated since the block exemption rules were changed, making it easier to move vehicles from country to country.
Since the introduction of the Euro it appears that cross-border trading is escalating, not only in new cars, but in used as well.
This practice has been going on since the motor car was invented but the number now being shifted around Europe is huge. With a change to the block exemption rules it will be even easier to move cars around, in fact it positively encourages it.
It will now be possible - and indeed very easy - for a dealer in one country to set up business in another and source cars from another, without any problems from the authorities.
Many see this as an advantage as they will be able to sell certain desirable vehicles in certain countries where the best prices can be achieved. They will also have the advantage of moving older cars to countries where age doesn't matter so much, but price does.
This all sounds to be a winner for everyone, but the more used cars are moved around Europe then most of their history gets lost as well.
It is almost impossible to tell whether a car has had minor or major accident damage, whether it has been stolen, or is still subject to a finance agreement.
New cars on the other hand are much less complicated and do not carry the same disadvantages. There are of course unscrupulous dealers worldwide, dealing in all types of goods, and used cars are no exception.
There will be people out there moving cars around, knowing full well that some of them have had serious collision damage and that they are potentially dangerous.
As we move towards a much more unrestricted way of selling cars then we also encourage the rogue element who are out to make a quick Euro at the expense of others.
The majority of European dealers trading cars for a living are honest and do a great job for the industry in moving cars around to achieve maximum prices. The amount of time and effort and knowledge required is immense.
However, while we have Euros and there are used cars to be bought and sold, these people will be around, both good and bad.
The desirability of a used car from one country to the next is normally in line with how well that particular make sells new and how popular they are.
These likes and dislikes vary from country to country, it can be that a manufacturer is number one for new car sales in a country, but is well down the list in the country next to it.
This has a direct knock-on effect with the popularity of used cars. It simply does not happen that a car is a best-seller when new but then it fails in the used market. Nor can you have a poorly selling new car which suddenly becomes sought after when used.
When it comes to popularity the customer's perceptions show through in both markets.