Monday, 30 March 2015

Motoring Supplement

A simple guide to Scrappage scheme 

The December 2009 Budget revealed that a car scrappage scheme which will apply in Ireland from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010. The scheme will provide for up to  €1,500 reduction in Vehicle Registration Tax on a new car bought where a car of 10 years age or more is scrapped.

  The Scrappage Scheme will run from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010. VRT relief of up to €1,500 will be available. The VRT relief will be provided where a new Category A car is purchased of emission Bands A or B (i.e. with CO2 emissions of 140g/km or less) and an old car is scrapped.

  The car being scrapped must have been registered in the State in the name of the purchaser of the new car for at least eighteen months previous to the date of scrappage; must be 10 years old or more from the date of first registration; must be scrapped after 9 December 2009; must be scrapped within sixty days of the date of the new car being registered, or have been scrapped within the previous sixty days of the date of the new car being registered,provided the date of scrappage is after 9 December 2009; must have a valid NCT certificate of roadworthiness, or one that has expired no more than ninety days prior to issue of the Certificate of Destruction; or documentation to indicate that it has been presented for and failed an NCT roadworthiness test in the previous six months; must have been insured for use on the road for at least twelve months in the eighteen months prior to the issue of the Certificate of Destruction.

  Being ‘scrapped’ means that the old car has been taken to an official End of Life Vehicles (ELV) authorised treatment facility and a Certificate of Destruction is issued by the facility in respect of the car.

Good reaction to scheme

An estimated 600,000 used cars could be eligible for the new Scrappage Scheme, according to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI). While it only applies to the purchase of new cars with emissions of less than 140g/km, versions of many mainstream family cars and premium models still qualify. 

  Along with most small city cars and superminis, several diesel versions of family cars like the Ford Mondeo, Renault Laguna and VW Passat fall into the scheme, along with variants of larger premium models such as some diesel versions of Audi’s A6, BMW’s 5 Series, Volvo’s S80 and Mercedes’ E-Class. Several sports cars, such as the 2-litre diesel Audi TT will also qualify. 

  Car firms have reacted quickly by offering their own discounts on top of the Government’s scrappage deal. The scheme will run from January 1st for one year. 

  Speaking immediately after the Budget speech, Alan Nolan, director general of SIMI, said the scheme was a great relief to the industry. “Given the terrible year (2009) we’ve been through, this gives those working in the industry a sense that perhaps the worst may be over. And for customers the rebate of €1,500 is substantial enough to make a difference on the price of the smaller cars that will be bought under the scheme.” 

  Scrappage schemes have already been introduced in 12 other European countries with positive results. In Britain it turned a 30 per cent decline in new cars sales in March into a six per cent rise in August. Germany’s scheme also led to an increase of 18 per cent in sales in the first quarter of 2009. In their pre-Budget submission SIMI had said that over 10,000 job had been lost in the industry since the onset of the recession, while over 70 motor-related businesses had closed in the first nine months of the year. A previous scrappage scheme ran from July 1995 until the end of 1997, with up to 65,000 new cars sold under the scheme.

Scania delivers in the snow

N6 Operations Ltd, the company charged with maintaining the new M6 Motorway has recently taken delivery of three new special Scania trucks.

The first three trucks were delivered in time for the opening of the M6 just before Christmas and will be used for winter and general motorway maintenance on the new M6 Motorway between Ballinasloe and Galway City. 

A fourth Scania will soon be delivered to complete the order.

The multi-wheeler Scanias have specialised equipment including a Palfinger crane, Hoctor bodies and most importantly demountable Romaquip salt spreaders and heavy-duty snow ploughs for essential winter maintenance. 

Two of the trucks can be adapted for cone dispensing duties.

Motorists slower to change tyres

2009 was a poor year for new car sales, which fell by 62 percent and sales of tyres in Ireland also fell by 15 to 20 percent, according to Continental Tyres.

General Sales Manager Mr. Paddy Murphy said all indications were that motorists were leaving it longer to change their tyres. “If 95,000 motorists decide not to change their cars, you might expect the tyre market to benefit,” he said. “This isn’t happening, and that’s worrying. Clearly, the economic recession has led many consumers to delay new tyre purchases and probably to break the law.”

A survey by the Irish Tyre Industry Association a few years ago showed 50 percent of drivers were leaving it too late to replace their tyres. In other words, the tyre tread was already below the legal limit of 1.6 mm. If that study were repeated today, that 50 percent figure would rise substantially.”

Mr. Murphy said also that customers were becoming more cost conscious and were downgrading from premium tyres to budget tyres to save money in the difficult economic climate. “Both of these factors have implications for road safety,” he contended. Welcoming the fact that, from April this year, a tyre will fail the NCT if it does not have an “E” mark, indicating that it is certified to comply with international regulations, he expressed concern that a tyre’s speed rating is still not part of the NCT. ”Particularly in these times, customers are frequently fitting tyres of a lower speed rating than that specified by the manufacturer. This can be dangerous.”

Stunning new BMW 5 Series to arrive in March

BMW has unveiled the new 5-Series saloon, with a smoother, sleeker look and it is due to go on sale in March. 

Word has it that standard equipment could be higher with leather seats, automatic air conditioning and Bluetooth.

BMW claims that new 5 Series customers will be offered the perfect blend of class-leading powerplants, unrivalled driving dynamics and a sporting yet elegant design to set a new benchmark in the executive class.

The latest 5 Series will set new standards and is the first in its class to feature Auto Start-Stop, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a double-wishbone front suspension.

The new 5 Series Saloon has been styled to reflect its almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution with beautifully balanced proportions, short overhangs, a coupé-like flowing roofline and a long, contoured bonnet. The familiar BMW kidney grille stands upright, alluding to the car’s sporting pedigree.

The latest BMW has the longest wheelbase in its class at 2,968 mm, creating a greater feeling of interior space. This translates into an extra 13 mm of knee room for rear passengers, compared to the previous 5 Series, while customers specifying the optional glass sunroof benefit from a larger roof panel that allows light to flood in highlighting the generous rear cabin. The BMW 5 Series Saloon is as practical as it is elegant and has a 520-litre boot with the option to specify 40:20:40 split folding rear seats.

Inside, it features many of the sporting but luxurious quality and comfort features found in the BMW 7 Series and 5 Series GT. The use of Black Panel technology on the instrument panel and centre console would be a perfect example. Inclined seven degrees towards the driver, the asymmetrically designed centre console ensures that all controls are comfortably within reach. The multifunctional steering wheel has been simplified, putting all of the function keys in one hand and infotainment in the other. And the new 5 Series offers more rear legroom compared to the existing model.

Buyers of the BMW 5 Series Saloon should be able to choose between three diesel powerplants and four petrol engines from launch. There will be four petrol variants available from launch – the 523i, 528i, 535i and the top of the range 550i. The diesel choices are the new 520d, an improved 530d and the 525d, with the ultra high-performance M5 coming later.

Ireland’s top selling model will be the 520d with Auto Start-Stop. This 1,995 cc four-cylinder diesel features the latest generation common-rail direct injection and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry, which increases power and efficiency. Producing 184 hp at 4,000 rpm, the 520d accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 8.1 seconds before going onto a top speed of 141 mph (140 for automatic transmission). A car equipped with an automatic transmission improves on these figures further recording 162g/km and a fuel economy return of 45.6 mpg.

The new 530d will have power increased to 245 bhp but with lowered CO2 of 166g/km. Economy has also been improved to 44 mpg.

Have your motoring queries answered at Blueprint Autos

Have all your motoring queries answered at Blueprint Autos, Ballyglass, Fourmilehouse, Roscommon.

Whether it’s a trusty family car or your sporting pride and joy, Tommie Rafferty and the team at Blueprint Autos can answer your queries and ensure that you can enjoy driving your car in a safe and confident manner and know that you are getting value for money.

At Blueprint Autos, you will always get clear advice in relation to your car and a quote for the cost of the work to be done. The business is completely customer-focused and aims to take the mystery out of the trade.

With the recent extreme weather, including floods and persistent frosty conditions, many motorists are finding that the weather has had an impact on their motor. We asked Tommie some questions about the effects of the recent weather on cars.

What kind of queries are people making?

“During the cold spell, a lot of people were ringing asking about antifreeze. Now, after the thaw, they are asking about the effects of salt on their cars and we are telling people to keep their cars washed regularly to avoid corrosion from salt. The salted grit on the roads can play havoc with cars when it comes to NCT time.”

What should motorists watch out for?

“After the heavy frost, motorists should make sure that they keep an eye on the water level, in case there has been any damage to the engine during the frost.”

Any spring cleaning to be done?

“Spring is a good time to check pollen filters. They can cause your windows to fog up if they need replacing and now is the time to order replacements if needed.”

What about pothole problems?

“Potholes are causing huge damage to tyres at the moment, with very poor road conditions. You can get a bulge in your tyre after hitting a pothole and you could have a slow puncture, but worse still, you could get a blowout while travelling at speed, so your tyres should be attended to immediately. It’s also very important to get your tracking checked. Often after hitting potholes, motorists notice that the car is pulling to the left or right and it’s very important to have this rectified. Potholes are also causing huge damage to alloy wheels.”

Are queries welcome?

“Absolutely, we always welcome queries and at Blueprint Autos we understand that not all customers are mechanically minded and so we don’t bombard them with jargon. Queries are always welcome and we are always here to help.”

Pre-NCT checks, pre-DOE checks and the Blueprint Autos Health Check are all available. In fact, every car service, NCT check and DOE check includes a Blueprint Autos Health Check. There is also a complimentary emissions test with every full car service, pre-NCT check and pre-DOE check and a 25 percent discount off an air-conditioning service with every full car service. 

Book your vehicle in at Blueprint Autos, Ballyglass, Fourmilehouse, Roscommon, by calling (090) 66 29843.

Ford auto-diagnostics at Blueprint Autos

The key to repairing cars efficiently is to know exactly what’s gone wrong. Even with years of experience some problems can be puzzling and that’s why Blueprint Autos use the very latest auto-diagnostics to instantly and accurately pinpoint the area that needs our attention. 

Blueprint Autos has diagnostics coverage for 80 percent of cars in the market and are working on achieving full coverage. They recently took delivery of a full suite of Ford auto diagnostics and have also ordered the full range for BMW and Mercedes. 

Book your vehicle in at Blueprint Autos, Ballyglass, Fourmilehouse, Roscommon, by calling (090) 66 29843.

Get motoring with Hanly Motors

Whether it’s a new car, a service, tyres, valeting or crash repairs that you need, then visit Hanly Motors, Lanesboro Road, Roscommon.

If you’re looking for a new car, Declan has something to suit every pocket and budget and all cars are checked and come with a three-month warranty. Drop in and talk to Declan about your requirements. See the range of cars  advertised by Declan this week.

Everything from a standard service, to brakes, clutches, pre-NCT checks and DOE checks can be catered for at Hanly Motors, as well as diagnostic work on all makes and models. Pre-NCT checks are free at Hanly Motors and there is free wheel alignment with every full service at Declan Hanly’s.

A special offer currently available is a lubricant service for €89 plus VAT. Remember, as the winter approaches, now is a great time to get your car serviced, to ensure that your tyres are in good condition, that your car has the necessary anti-freeze and to change the oil and filters to ensure that your car is in optimum condition through the winter. In these recessionary times, you’ll be delighted to know that labour rates are very keen at Hanly Motors. 

An Advance Pitstop franchise is another feature of Hanly Motors. All makes of tyres are available, with something in every price range and Declan aims to cater for whatever brand or price range the customer is looking for.

An experienced mechanic, Declan, a native of Lanesborough Road, Roscommon, worked for ten years in Casey’s Ford garage in the town before taking up this business venture in the premises at Lanesboro Road, beside Ardcarne Garden Centre and Garvey’s. He is joined in the new business by Noel Keely from Castlerea, who also has a decade of experience in the motor trade.

The new premises at Lanesboro Road, which opened four months ago, features plenty of parking. The garage is open six days each week and the Saturday opening makes it very convenient for those away at work all week. Cars to be serviced can be picked up and delivered back to people working in town.

A full crash repair service is available at Hanly Motors. Recovery and delivery are available if necessary and courtesy cars are available for customers getting crash repairs. Valeting is also available at keen rates at Hanly Motors. 

Hanly Motors is open from 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday. Contact Declan on (090) 66 34671 or (086) 8769291.

New Prize Bond promotion for Toyota Corolla petrol

In December Toyota started a new promotion for buyers of their Corolla petrol. €10,000 worth of prize bonds are given to every petrol Corolla customer who registers a car before March 31st.

This gives buyers of the petrol Corolla the chance to win thousands of prizes every week during prize bonds draw. And all these potential prizes winnings by customers would be tax-free. 

At the end of the campaign one lucky customer will be able to keep their €10,000 prize bonds.

This is in addition to €2,170 price reduction from €21,670 to €19,445 (including the VAT reduction on January 1st) and 12 months free road tax on any of the three Corolla petrol versions.

Check safety rating of new cars

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) this week recommended that anyone considering buying a new car under the Government’s car scrappage scheme should examine closely information about the safety performance of the car before buying.

The best source of such information is the European New Car Assessment Programme or Euro NCAP. Euro NCAP provides a realistic and independent measurement of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe by rating their performance in crash testing. 

Consumers then have the opportunity to compare the safety performance of similar sized vehicles with their chosen car.

Mr. Noel Brett, CEO, Road Safety Authority offered the following advice, “If you are thinking of buying a new car be sure to ask the dealer about the car’s Euro NCAP rating before making a decision to buy.”

For anyone looking for information on the European New Car Assessment Programme or Euro NCAP the RSA has produced a handy leaflet which can be downloaded from or visit to view the ratings given to cars following crash testing by Euro NCAP.

New operator and changes to NCT

Changes to the National Car Test in 2010 and 2011 have been announced and the National Car Testing Service Ltd. (wholly owned by SGS Ireland Ltd.) since January 2000 has not had its contract renewed.

The Road Safety Authority has awarded the contract for the provision of NCT Service from 2010 to 2019 to Applus+. The new operator took over testing on January 4th in 46 NCT centres that employ 550 people throughout the country. Applus+ is the world’s second largest operator.

Changes are also being introduced to improve the quality of the service. Specifically, two new NCT centres are being opened and in the interests of road safety, new testing items are being introduced in 2010 and 2011, following a public consultation process by the RSA in 2009.

The changes include measures such as: additional tests for lighting, window clarity (level of tinting), exhaust noise levels and tyre quality assurance markings, measures to deal with dangerously defective vehicles, and from June 2011, the annual testing of vehicles over ten years old.

Dangerous vehicle

New arrangements will apply when it is considered that a tested vehicle would be a danger to the public if driven. In such a case a ‘Fail Dangerous’ notice will be affixed, and An Garda Siochána will be notified if the owner/presenter drives the vehicle from the centre.

The use of a dangerously defective vehicle on a public road is an offence for which the driver and owner could be prosecuted with a fine of up to €2,000 and five penalty points on conviction and/or three months imprisonment.

Vehicle Registration/Licensing Certificate

The details of the Vehicle Registration/Licensing Certificate which must be presented at NCT will be compared to the vehicle. Any discrepancies will be notified to the owner/presenter and Vehicle Registration Unit. Even if the vehicle passes all other aspects of the test, a test certificate will not be issued until the discrepancies are corrected.

Cars over 30 years old

At present vehicles over 30 years old are exempt. From now on vehicles registered prior to 1st January 1980 will not be liable to testing. In this way older vehicles will be brought into the testing system year on year.

Requirement for Identification

The owner/presenter of the vehicle will be required to produce a driving licence or passport, and, if relevant, details of the garage/company on behalf of which the vehicle is presented. 

Seven more main changes will come into force on April 1st, with two more to follow in June. Vehicle owners who do not get their vehicle tested through the NCT as required can put themselves and others at risk by driving vehicles that may be dangerously defective, for example with poor brakes, worn suspension, worn tyres, or defective lighting.

Failure to have a current NCT Certificate is an offence under Section 18 of the Road Traffic Act 1961. Conviction for this offence carries 5 penalty points and Courts may impose a fine of up to €2000 and/or up to three months imprisonment.

Lots of economic options at Tom Raftery Car Sales

Economising on motorising costs is on everybody’s mind this spring, a fact well known to experienced car dealer Tom Raftery of Tom Raftery Car Sales in Monksland and Ballinasloe.

Barnadearg native Tom Raftery has been in the car dealership business for many years and as business begins to pick up after the big freeze, he has noticed that customer’s main focus for 2010 is low car tax bills, economic cars and of course, rock bottom prices!

Tom Raftery Car Sales is in business over 20 years. The business began in Ballinasloe, but has also been operating in Monksland, Athlone, for the past four years. Tom Raftery Car Sales is a dealership for Peugeot, Seat, Daihatsu and Isuzu and was recently appointed as a Kia dealer.

Asked about business in the early weeks of 2010, Tom Raftery said, “It’s going very well. The scrappage scheme is proving very popular, especially since the weather has picked up. Hopefully that will continue. People have more confidence in buying cars.”

So, what are people looking for in 2010 when it comes to purchasing cars? “Everybody is looking for lower band cars, category A and B. Very few people are looking at big cars, everybody is economising and that’s good for us because the brands we are selling are all low emission, category A and B cars.”

“Also, there is a big turn towards diesel cars. The biggest headache we have is the finance companies. They are very difficult to deal with. They don’t want people unless they have a government job. People working in retail or working as a plumber, it is very difficult to source finance for those people.”

“Thankfully, the Credit Unions are there. Most cars we are selling, people are getting finance from the Credit Unions. Today and yesterday we got Credit Union cheques from people buying cars. The only glimmer we have at the moment is the Credit Union and I don’t mind praising them.”

“We had a guy recently that bought a new Peugeot. He traded a 08 petrol car and owed €11,700 on the car. He paid a cheque for the new car, but found it awful hard to get the finance company to take on the new car.”

Tom Raftery Car Sales also services cars, both for existing customers all over south Roscommon and new customers in the Roscommon region, especially those with Peugeot, Kia and Seat vehicles. Tom Raftery Car Sales also has an extensive range of parts for the cars it stocks.

Tom Raftery Car Sales is open six days per week, from 9 am to 4 pm, in Ballinasloe and Monksland, Athlone. Telephone Tom Raftery Car Sales in Ballinasloe on (090) 96 42686 or Athlone on (090) 64 90630.

Suzuki double ‘Scrap and Save’ offers

You can now buy a Suzuki for as little as €8,690 ex-works (Suzuki Alto 1.0 litre manual version) if you qualify for the Government scrappage scheme. It is what Suzuki call their ‘Scrap and Save €3,000’ offer which is effectively their doubling of the Government €1,500 scrappage bounty.


Officially the Suzuki €1,500 off the Alto, Splash, Swift and SX4 is only for those that qualify for the Government scrappage scheme. 

However, if you want to buy a Suzuki with a newer trade-in or even in a straight purchase, you local dealer might just be more open than usual to a good haggle for some of the of the scrappage bonus off.

Suzuki ‘Scrap and Save €3000’ deals

Model Retail price Government scrappage Suzuki scrappage

ALTO 1.0 Manual €11,690 €1,500 €1,500

ALTO 1.0 Auto €13,475 €1,500 €1,500

SPLASH 1.0 GLS €14,735 €1,500 €1,500

SPLASH 1.2 GLS €15,730 €1,500 €1,500

SWIFT 3DR GL €13,730 €1,500 €1,500

SWIFT 5DR GL €14,235 €1,500 €1,500

SWIFT 3DR GLX €14,735 €1,500 €1,500

SWIFT 5DR GLX €15,135 €1,500 €1,500

SWIFT DIESEL €16,730 €1,500 €1,500

SX4 DIESEL €20,230 €1,500 €1,500

Volkswagen scrappage offers gear consumer up for 2010

Volkswagen has brought their range of scrappage scheme pricing offers to the market, which sees motorists in a better position than ever to buy a new car as the New Year gets into full swing.

For example, consumers will receive a further €1,500 discount on top of the scrappage offer on the Polo United model and the Fox is offering €1,600 on top of the scrappage offer. The competitively priced new Polo model is now available for €12,995 with the scrappage offer, which represents impressive value.

An amazing 95 percent of the Volkswagen range qualifies for scrappage as they are Band A and B vehicles, thanks to Volkswagen’s Bluemotion technologies and cleaner engines. This combined with the Volkswagen price realignment of an 11 percent decrease across the range that came into place in November 2009 makes 2010 Volkswagens even better value.

Adam Chamberlain, Head of Sales and Marketing, Volkswagen commented “After a challenging year for the motor industry in 2009, we are very pleased at Volkswagen to announce our scrappage offers which have resulted in some sensational value across the Volkswagen range. There has never been a better time for consumers to purchase a new car and we have already seen a high level of interest despite the bad weather”.

VW’s 2010 Scrappage Offers

Polo United €12,935

Less scrappage €1,500

Less VW discount €1,500

New price €9,935


Fox €12,090

Less scrappage €1,500

Less VW discount €1,600

New price €8,990

Rise in number of uninsured drivers on Irish roads

The recession has sparked a rise in the number of uninsured drivers, the head of the company that compensates the victims of such drivers said this week.

John Casey of the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland, warned those flouting the law on motor insurance that they would be pursued through the courts if they caused an accident. His company was still compiling figures for 2009, but in 2008 it paid €62m to victims of accidents involving uninsured drivers.

Mr. Casey said that between five and six percent of drivers were flouting the law by failing to take out insurance. He added it was unacceptable that so many drivers were not insured, especially as insurance costs have fallen substantially.

Mr. Casey said that once the MIBI was forced to compensate an uninsured driver’s victim, it pursued the perpetrator, if it could identify them, and sought a lien on their earnings or a judgment against them.

In a separate report in the Irish Independent, Personal Finance Editor, Charlie Weston tells us that thousands of people are taking huge risks by cancelling their motor insurance in a desperate bid to save money.

More than one in ten consumers have cancelled a variety of different insurance policies as they struggle to meet mortgage repayments and pay for food. Of those who have stopped paying for insurance, one in four has given up motor cover, a new survey has found. Personal finance experts said consumers were taking huge risks and leaving themselves exposed to big losses by cancelling policies.