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Save the Cars campaign to move to next level
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  Data supplied from cartell.ie  
Data supplied from cartell.ie
Monday, July 02, 2018
The Autobiz "Save the Cars” campaign designed to highlight the issue of sound older cars being scrapped because they cannot be economically insured, has certainly struck a chord, not only with the Irish motor trade, but also with the motoring public. The petition now has over 6000 signatures and that number continues to rise by the day. 

It appears that the policy of Irish insurance companies of not quoting, or not providing a competitive quote, on cars over ten years old is having even more far reaching consequences than we first thought, not only affecting Ireland’s aftermarket, but impacting on local communities, reducing exchequer revenues, causing job losses, actually increasing global CO2 emissions, as well as taking very significant money out of almost every motorist’s pocket.

The campaign has received overwhelming support from all sectors of the Irish motor trade and has gathered significant momentum with the motoring public on social media. Building on this success Autobiz has now taken the "Save the Cars” campaign to the next level. This has involved issuing a press release to both national and local media outlets to maintain momentum and gain addition publicity.

Autobiz representatives have also meet with several TD’s to highlight the pressing nature of the issue and secure their support. We have also held a special information morning for TD’s in Buswells Hotel at the gates of Leinster House. This has highlighted the issue to many TD’s and Senators for the first time and shown the strength of feeling on this issue right around the country to many others.

As part of the next campaign phase Autobiz will also be meeting with Michael D'Arcy TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance to urge him to put pressure on insurers to end this unfair and unjust practice. 

As we looked deeper into this issue the facts become even more shocking and we have highlighted some of these findings both to TD’S in a briefing document and to the press and media outlets. Here is just some of what has been found:

- In 2017, 77,375 vehicles were scrapped in Ireland an increase of 49% on 2016. This is estimated to climb to a whopping 139,308 vehicles in 2018. This huge increase can be attributed to lack of competitive insurance options. This is despite the fact that the NCT system has pronounced these vehicles safe, roadworthy and environmentally sound.

- The net effect of this unnecessary vehicle scrappage is;
  • Lost exchequer revenue
  • Accelerated devaluation of all cars in Ireland, but especially 10+ year old cars
  • Increase in World Co2 emissions
  • Many garage closures, job losses and 3 day weeks in the motor trade
  • A significant reduction in rural mobility, especially with low income earners.

Many drivers are totally unaware of this issue until they try to change their car. In many instances they assume their car to be worth thousands, only to find this policy by Insurance companies has effectively made their vehicle worthless. These could be premium model 08 and 07 cars that many people perceive as being relatively new, being forced on to the scrapheap. Most cars can provide comfortable and safe transport for up to 15 years. The premature scrappage of roadworthy cars with a valid NCT, affects every car owner through more rapid depreciation. It disproportionately affects rural residents, forcing them to needlessly buy newer cars, which results in less money to spend on domestic activities.

It is worth pointing out that no new cars are manufactured in Ireland, however, second-hand car sales and maintenance and repairs business provides valuable labour intensive employment throughout Ireland, with many spinoff industries supported such as car-parts sales, car dismantling, body-shops etc. which all provide valuable local employment.

In an age where we are constantly encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle, the policy also makes no environmental or economic sense, taking sound, low emission older vehicles off the road and encouraging new car purchases, where the manufacturing process leaves a huge carbon footprint. Globally the manufacture of cars is very energy intensive. In fact, the energy used in the manufacture of a typical family car (such as a Ford Mondeo) is equivalent to the fuel used to travel 160,000km.

From a government perspective whilst it may seem desirable to take older car off the road, the policy actually causes a huge loss in exchequer revenue, even when fines for not hitting CO2 reduction targets are taken into account.

Also revenue is lost on VRT, VAT and Road Tax through the practice. When a Car is scrapped 2 years prematurely, there are exchequer upfront revenue gains in VRT and VAT when annualised this may be an increase revenue by up to 18% annually (if say a 13 year old car is scrapped 2 years prematurely). But VRT and VAT gains are negated due to higher road taxes paid on pre 2008 older vehicles. Also the lion’s share of the VAT on used car imports (currently running at 40% of total cars imported) goes to UK tax authorities, and the VRT is at a much reduced annualised rate.

The only winners from this policy are the insurance companies, who may see relatively marginal financial gains and overseas car manufacturers.

The losers are just about everyone else: 
  • All Car owners due to accelerated deprecation, but which is more sharply felt by older cars, disproportionately affecting car dependent rural car owners.
  • Indigenous motor traders from car dealers to small garages suffering less economic activity.
  • The environment due to net larger global CO2 emissions.
  • The exchequer due to lost fuel revenue, lower road tax on newer cars outweighing EU fines, and lost VRT & VAT.
  • All Irish businesses due to less economic spin off on imported cars.
Please help us keep the "Save the Cars” campaign momentum going by taking the following action.
  • If you have not already signed the petition do so now by clicking here.
  • Encourage everyone you know to sign, including family, friends, employees and work colleagues, fellow club members, etc. Remember this does not just affect the motor trade. It has an impact on everyone.
  • Share the campaign details with as many as possible on your social media channels.

Let’s get common sense restored, save these cars, bring an end to this nonsensical practice and reverse this devastating trend of garage closures.

Full calculations available by clicking here