SIMI is the official voice of the Motor Industry, we represent over 1200 member companies who come from a variety of sectors within the Industry. Over 40,000 people are employed around Ireland. Our Industry contributes over 6 Billion in motor related taxation to the Exchequer.
Budget 2024, announced (10.10.2023) by Minister for Finance Michael McGrath, contains some measures specific to motoring:
Commenting on Budget 2024, The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) Director General Brian Cooke:
“SIMI welcomes the measures announced in today’s Budget, in particular the extension of the current VRT and Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) reliefs for Electric Vehicles. In addition, the retention of the current VRT regime allied with the EV reliefs provides stability and clarity to the Motor Industry and motorists at a time of great uncertainty. The EV supports underline the Government’s commitment towards the electrification of the national fleet, which is of critical important as we strive to meet our emissions’ reduction goals. We still await clarification of the ongoing investment in both the charging infrastructure and the SEAI purchase grants, which are also vital to the ongoing success of the EV project.”
Budget 2024 will play an important role in the step towards decarbonisation. Our Industry remains fully committed in helping to achieve the Governments ambitious climate targets. These goals can only be achieved using a joint, coherent approach, with the Government and the Motor Industry working closely together to ensure the right measures are implemented to encourage positive behavioural changes as quickly as possible.
We are still in the early stages of the electric vehicle project. This is at a time where EV subsidies are being phased out. The SEAI Grant was reduced by €1,500 in July 2023, the threshold for 0% Electric BIK has been reduced and the EV VRT relief is due to expire at the end of this year. It is important that additional funding is made available for Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI) to maintain the current levels of EV supports and to invest in the national charging infrastructure. NOW is the time to invest in the EV Project.
we have a long way to go to meet the challenging targets in the Government’s Climate Action Plan. In this context it is essential that Government supports both consumers and businesses by extending EV incentives at current levels in the forthcoming Budget. By doing this we can help secure a greater supply of Electric Vehicles for the Irish market, increase new EV sales in the short term and create an active used EV market, which will make an electric vehicle affordable to a wider constituency of motorists.
In addition, if we want to speed up the removal of the oldest highest emitting vehicles from the national fleet, Government should refrain from any further taxation increases. This would encourage activity in both the new and used car markets, allowing motorists to trade up to a cleaner new or newer more fuel-efficient car. While investment in the national charging infrastructure is essential, it must be reliable and remain ahead of demand, to provide consumers with confidence in the EV project.
- Retain the current 0% Benefit-In-Kind €45,000 threshold for EVs.
- Extend the EV VRT Relief that is due to expire at the end of 2023.
- Retain the current level and thresholds for the SEAI purchase grant.
- No changes passenger car VRT or Road Tax.
- No changes to the basis of LCV VRT, which could prove destabilising and counterproductive.
- Introduce new business incentives to purchase Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
- Examine new incentives to renew the fleet, scrappage/swappage, low cost loans.
- Increase the level of funding allocated to the EV transition project.
- Charging infrastructure stays ahead of demand.
- Consumer must have confidence in the EV project.
A reduction in VRT to stimulate growth in new car sales thus providing a cleaner, greener car fleet which will result in reduced emissions and cleaner air quality. This will protect jobs throughout the country and helps us all to achieve our climate change objectives.
Our national car fleet has gone from one the youngest in Europe to one of the oldest, in 2008 the average age of a car was 6 years old. The average overall age is 9.4 years. Average age of a diesel car is 9.3 years. Average age of a petrol car is 11 years
With over 2.7 million vehicles currently in the national fleet, there will continue to be a large number of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles in the Irish Fleet, even beyond the next 10 years, all of which will require servicing for many years to come. For many motorists it will take time to transition from internal combustion engines as the cost to change even with incentives is not a viable proposition. The Motor Industry is committed to Zero emissions. it is important that we reach these goals in a measured and realistic way.
In order to make the transition to alternative vehicle technology consumers must have confidence in proposition. If we want to make progress then we must have certainty for consumers where incentives and supports are provided. Funding from Government needs to be provided to re-introduce the supports for company vehicles and infrastructural changes to support the move to low emission vehicles.
SIMI believes that car ownership remains a requirement for successful living for many people in Ireland, particularly outside of large metropolitan areas. While not directly involved, SIMI supports the Government to consider improved mobility management.
• Geo-political uncertainty
• Rising Inflation/Interest rates
• Cost of living crisis
• Consumer Confidence
• Outlook uncertain