Car prices 'will soar by €3,000' unless Government acts on emissions system
New car prices could soar by €3,000 under a new emissions system unless the government intervenes urgently, a leading motor figure has claimed.
Tests under the more realistic WLTP system are producing mostly higher figures for emissions because fuel consumption is shown to be higher than it was under the outdated NEDC regime.
It doesn't mean the cars are less efficient; it just means their performance is more accurately recorded.
As our VRT and road tax bills are based on emission levels, large numbers of cars will be pushed into higher, more costly, bands. That has already driven up some car prices. But, it is claimed, there is much worse to come after a September 1 deadline, as bigger volumes of new cars increasingly reflect the tougher, more realistic, tests.
Now, a senior motor industry figure has warned the advent of WLTP will have a "huge impact" on Irish buyers unless the Government quickly adjusts the road/VRT tax bands to take account of the higher figures.
Ford Ireland chief Ciarán McMahon said: "Prices are only going to go one way - and none is going down."
Asked by the Irish Independent to estimate how much of an increase there could be over the next 18 months if nothing is done, he said: "They could push prices up €3,000 on average."
However, he is hopeful - as are others in the industry - that the Government will avert swingeing rises and tweak the tax bands. Not doing so, Mr McMahon said at the international launch of the new Ford Focus, would risk "political suicide".
In response to a query from the Irish Independent, a Department of Finance spokeswoman said: "Options and impacts around WLTP will be discussed in the department's Tax Strategy Group papers, which are due to be published in the coming weeks."