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Off the Road

Almost 100,000 cars in Ireland don't get driven at all

Officially, anyway.

THERE ARE AROUND 2.5 million cars on Irish roads, clocking up millions of miles of travel, but a further 94,000 don’t get driven at all.

Figures shown to the Dáil before the summer recess show that 94,242 private vehicles are listed as being off the road. Over 38,000 of those declarations came in the first six months of this year.

Cars are declared off the road in order to exempt them from motor tax while they are not being used. A vehicle can be declared off the road for up to a year.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly told the Dáil that the new system of advance notification had drastically cut down on the number of declarations. Under the previous system, a car could be retroactively declared off the road, a system which was anecdotally widely abused.

An analysis of retrospectively-made Garda-witnessed vehicle licence exemptions in the 12-month period up to the end of July 2012 showed that the total number of retrospective declarations made during that time was over 429,000.

“Given that private vehicles make up 77% of the overall fleet, and assuming that declarations are made on a pro-rata basis across vehicle categories, the estimated equivalent figure for private vehicles under the old system would be 330,330 declarations in a 12 month period, and 165,165 in a 6 month period.”

Under the new rules, arrears cannot be avoided by making a declaration that a car is off the road.

Gardaí are entitled to impound any vehicle that is out of tax by two months.

Read: This is how the State still makes money from vintage cars

Read: Here’s how much money motor tax brings in each year

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