Business Irish

Friday 19 September 2014

High taxes driving almost 58,000 cars off the road

Published 24/08/2014 | 02:30

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Take the keys.

The cost of keeping a car in good nick has prompted as much as one in 33 drivers to declare their cars off the road.

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Almost 58,000 people have declared their cars off the road over the last ten months, according to the latest figures from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. There are about 1.9m private cars in Ireland.

By declaring a car off the road, the owner does not have to pay any motor tax or ensure that the car passes its NCT.

"Typically, you may have a car that is getting to the end of its life and is unlikely to pass its NCT," said Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs for AA Ireland. "Rather than dump the car, the owner declares it off road until he has a few bob for the NCT."

The record high emigration of recent years - which has seen almost 250 Irish people a day leave the country to find work - has also triggered a rise in the number of cars taken off the road.

"You'll often get someone who has gone off to England to work for six months who just leaves the car in their parent's driveway," said Faughnan. "There's also an element of people who cannot afford the tax on the car."

The Volkswagen Golf, Toyota Corolla and Ford Fiesta are amongst the most likely cars to be declared off the road.

"Those three models would account for cars which many Irish drivers had as their first (older) second-hand car, and many learned to drive in them," said Padraic Deane, editor of Auto Trade Journal.

"They are very popular cars that will have been kept for a very long number of years with very high mileage done, and then considered by their owners to be no longer viable to keep road worthy."

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