Sunday 20 October 2019

'I'm forced to get rid of a perfectly good car and go into debt to buy a newer one' - Insurers refusing to quote for older cars

Tell Eddie...

Car forecourt
Car forecourt
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I often ask for your reaction to issues highlighted in Motors and usually elicit a good response.

I reply to as many as possible privately.

But this week, for a change of pace and just to show the breadth of response, here is a small representative sample of what's come back to me recently.

Old-car insurance

Our piece (see directly below) about Ray Brennan's outspoken views on, and annoyance with, insurance companies that refuse to quote for cover on older cars, sparked a big response.

Car forecourt
Car forecourt

Read More: Why are a lot of insurers refusing to quote for insurance on a 10 to 20-year-old old car with a new NCT test and in perfect condition? 

The best and most comprehensive was from Gerry Falvey, editor of Autobiz magazine.

He has started a campaign which has gathered thousands of signatures already.

Gerry says: "We will be raising this issue with TDs. The policy of Irish insurance companies not providing competitive quotes on cars over 10 years old has effectively wiped out the value of older NCT-approved cars (if you can't insure it, you can't drive or sell it).

"This disproportionately penalises those who cannot afford, or indeed would prefer to keep their older car on the road.

"[It also has a ] significant negative impact on younger drivers and rural mobility, as well as the closure of country garages.

"In 2017, there were 77,375 vehicles scrapped, an increase of 49pc on 2016. This is estimated to climb to 140,000 in 2018.

"This huge increase can be attributed to the policy of Irish insurance companies not quoting, or not providing a competitive quote, for cars over 10 years old.

"This is despite the fact that the NCT system has pronounced these vehicles safe and roadworthy."

Lots of people are giving out hell about this topic. Here's John from Limerick: "My car is better maintained than many aged six or eight years. Why can't I be treated fairly? It's a disgrace and forcing me to get rid of a perfectly good car and go into debt to buy a newer one."


"My car is wrecked with the number of roads with potholes around Co Roscommon and Galway." - Joe.

"Cavan must have the worst case of potholes in recent times." - Mary.

"We need a new minister for potholes. The politicians can subsidise electric cars on big tarmac roads, but no one pays a penny towards ridding those of us who are paying good money in tax of the daily nightmare of potholes." - Aidan.

Garage charges

"My garage charged me plenty for a recent service and I was told all was shipshape and checked over. How come there was a stud in my spare wheel when I needed it two weeks later?" - Joseph, Galway.

"Some garages are charging huge amounts for so-called servicing of cars. They seem to think of a number and double it. No wonder people are going elsewhere. I will." - Frances, Co Kilkenny.

Used imports

"Eddie, Why are you always death down on people saving money by purchasing second-hand imports?

You never recommend them and you always say to give your local dealer a chance.

"You overlook the fact that many dealers in my locality are selling used imports alongside so-called Irish cars. Stop being so pretentious. Used imports are part of the fabric of dealerships now.

"And yes, I did save a lot of money going over myself and buying. I estimate €5,000. It's poor advice from you, Eddie. If I had taken it, I would be five grand worse off." - Michael, Offaly.

Keep the comments coming - we love to get them. Contact me at

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