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One in ten cars imported to Ireland from the UK were once written off

A lack of legislation here allows the cars in question to be repaired and put back on the road.

Image: Shutterstock/Mika Heittola

IRELAND HAS BECOME an import destination for cars that have been written off.

‘Category B’ write-offs, cars that were designated as unroadworthy and unfit for repair, have ended up in Ireland from places such as the UK and Australia, according to the RTÉ Investigations Unit.

A lack of legislation here allows the cars in question to be repaired and put back on the road.

Vehicle history website cartell.ie has said that one in ten of all UK imports registered in Ireland over a six-month period in 2015 were previously written off in the UK.

The website examined 29,089 imports registered in Ireland last year (taxed and untaxed) and found that 10.75% of those examined were written off in the UK.

In the case of untaxed imports, vehicles that were registered in Ireland in 2015 but not yet taxed, that percentage rose to 12.6%. In the case of taxed (private) imports the percentage was 10.4%

Voluntary system

Consumer regulations require car dealers to disclose a car’s full history, but some are selling on ‘Category B’ vehicles without informing motorists of all the details about the car’s past.

The report on Prime Time last night noted that this can lead to unsafe cars being on the road, and drivers having complications with insurance companies.

The last government promised legislation to make it illegal to drive a ‘Category B’ on Irish roads, but this was never put in place.

Insurers can log details of write-offs with the Department of Transport on a voluntary basis, meaning they cannot be later taxed or insured. However, not all ‘Category B’ vehicles are logged in this system.

The Road Safety Authority has called for this voluntary system to be made mandatory by law.

Read: Turbulence injured 17 people on plane landing into Dublin

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Órla Ryan

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