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 43,700 people are employed in over 400 towns and villages around Ireland. Our Industry contributed 5.5 Billion in revenue to the Exchequer last year. 

The Motor Industry and the motorist is facing the greatest change in taxation since 2008. The latest WLTP emissions changes will increase the price of new cars without adjustment to VRT bands in this year’s budget. If there is not an appropriate adjustment to the VRT Bands to off-set the increased emissions values under the new test, in October’s Budget, then the improvements in emissions testing will simply deliver increased taxation and higher prices for the consumer. Since the announcement of Brexit, our new car market has seen a 20% decline in sales. 

What we are looking for in Budget 2020 

No increase in Taxation on Motorist VRT/Road Tax

The Motor Industry and the motorist is facing the greatest change in taxation since 2008. The latest WLTP emissions changes will increase the price of new cars without adjustment to VRT bands in this year’s budget. 

What is WLTP?

  • Every new car placed on the market must undergo a test, WLTP is a new type of test. Under EU law, the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) laboratory test is used to measure fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions from passenger cars, as well as their pollutant emissions. The new test is designed to be far more stringent, requiring vehicle engines to replicate far more demanding and strenuous driving; as a result, the CO₂ values delivered under the test have always been expected to be higher.
  • From September 2017, the old NEDC lab test for cars was replaced by the new WLTP test. The same car can go through both tests and will have higher emissions recorded on the new test. September 1st 2018 Vehicle Manufacturers have to ensure that all new Cars and Light Commercial Vehicles placed on the market have been tested under the new WLTP test. From the Start of 2019 only WLTP fuel consumption and CO₂ emission values have been used for consumer information purposes.

How will WLTP impact the Motorist, Industry and the State? 

  • If there is not an appropriate adjustment to the VRT Bands to off-set the increased emissions values under the new test, in October’s Budget, then the improvements in emissions testing will simply deliver increased taxation and higher prices for the consumer.
  • WLTP Test (more rigorous test) will produce higher CO₂ value than older NEDC Test.
  • Currently Ireland’s Registration Tax (VRT) & Road Tax are based on the older NEDC emissions test.
  • The Government needs to adjust current VRT/Road Tax bands to allow for difference in new WLTP Test. 
    The new test increases reported emissions by on average 21% for a new car. Even though new cars emit less CO₂ than used imports – the new test does not apply to used imports
  • If VRT Bands are not changed to reflect new test:
    - VRT will increase by €2,000 on average, but in some cases by €4,000+ for some family cars.
    - As the test does not impact used imports, which generate €6,000 LESS for the Exchequer than a new car, they will be further advantaged. 
    We would continue to import the cars the UK don’t want.
    - Sudden taxation changes could mean new car sales could fall to at best 75,000, but in worst case to 2009 levels, costing jobs, the Exchequer and slowing down the drive to reduce emissions from transport.
    - Customers will have to pay more for their new cars.
  • It is the EU’s intention to deliver more accurate CO₂ values, it was never their intention that WLTP would increase taxes for consumers because of the new test.

Help replace an ageing car fleet, don't continue to encourage older polluting imports.          

Ireland has international environmental targets to meet and we are in danger of becoming a dumping ground for older used vehicles.

  • This increased level in CO₂ values from used car imports is off setting the reduced CO₂ levels of new cars. Older vehicles that do meet the current euro 6c standard are of concern as they are not fitted with diesel particulate filters.
  • New cars have a lower CO₂ output than used imports and particularly used imports that are 4 years+ that account for 61% of used imports.
  • SIMI has long expressed a concern with regards the road worthiness of vehicles on our roads. A new vehicle, correctly, cannot be registered without presenting documentation to prove that is has been manufactured to a standard yet a used car can be imported from another EU country and registered without any requirement to prove that it is safe for use on ours roads or that it hasn’t been written-off in that other Member State.
  • Imported used-cars that have been written-off in their original country should not be allowed to be registered without recording this information for consumers with certification that the car is now safe. The State has a duty of care to protect its citizens by preventing unsafe cars from being placed on our roads and offered for sale to unsuspecting consumers.

Reach our climate change goals in a planned, measured and realistic way. 

  • The Motor Industry is fully supportive of a transition towards zero emissions, as the suppliers of cleaner technology, we are part of the solution and will work with all the relevant stakeholders.
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  • Change can happen with the right measures, but cannot happen overnight, and sensible policies aimed at encouraging motorist to make the right choices can lead to clean affordable and convenient mobility solutions.
  • During the transition to a world of Zero-Emitting Vehicles (ZEVs), we need to ensure that current diesel, petrol and hybrid vehicles are not devalued through negative or punitive measures by the State as this would significantly increase the cost for consumers to change from their current diesel/petrol car to a new Electric Car.
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  • New technologies bring new opportunities and the creation of Autonomous, Connected, Electric and shared technologies will offer potential for high calibre job creation and significant economic growth. Ireland is well positioned to play a leading role in developing the technology and to be at the forefront of this knowledge creation.

Ireland's National Fleet

  • 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 8.3 years. Average age of a diesel car is almost 7 years. Average age of a petrol car is almost 11 years.  
  • With 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.