Car tax rules wont prevent imports of bangers from UK
A NEW system that will see car tax collected at National Car Test (NCT) centres from today will not prevent thousands of cars written off in Britain being imported here with a clean bill of health.
From today, the collection of Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) becomes the responsibility of Applus+, the Spanish company currently administering the NCT.
Those importing cars from Britain or the North will no longer be able to register their cars at a Revenue Vehicle Registration Office (VRO).
Instead, staff at NCT centres will carry out a range of tests to verify that the specification of the vehicle being presented matches the original manufacturer's specification and that the correct rate of tax is being applied.
The new move was welcomed by Cartell.ie, an online company that provides history checks for car buyers.
Jeff Aherne of Cartell.ie welcomed the change as "a first step in the right direction towards safer cars on our roads" but questioned why the Government had not gone one step further by requiring mechanical checks of vehicles as well.
Mr Aherne said that as many as one in 10 of the cars imported from the UK to Ireland every year were previously written off. However, this fact was "not making its way from the UK log book to the Irish log book or vehicle registration document and the impact of this is that Irish drivers are in the dark about the cars' true history".
Given the inherent dangers of write-offs, Cartell.ie is calling for all imports to undergo a thorough mechanical inspection.
Last year, more than 47,000 of the 101,171 cars registered in Ireland were imported from the North or Britain. In 2008, the figure was 58,800 and in 2007, it was more than 57,000. In excess of 25,000 cars have been imported so far this year.