FAQs For Consumers

What should I consider when buying a Car?

Do not feel pressured into buying a car. Think carefully about what sort of car you want and take the time to shop around.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it the right size?
  • Does it have the safety features I need?
  • How much will it cost to service?
  • Does it come with a full service history?
  • Is it fuel efficient?
  • What type of warranty will I receive?
  • How much will it cost to insure?
  • How much will it depreciate in value?
  • What anti-theft devices are installed in the vehicle?

What is the Sale Of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980?

Under the Sale of Goods and Supply Act, the purchaser of a vehicle is entitled to a vehicle which is of merchantable quality and is fit for the purpose for which an item is normally sold.

For further information on the Act visit www.irishstatutebook.ie to view the Irish Statute Book or view The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980 or download a copy of the Act below:

What warranty do I get with my new or used car?

A warranty is a written promise to fix certain problems if they arise during a set period of time. All new cars come with a manufacturer's warranty, which represents a promise by the manufacturer. The warranty booklet will contain details such as the length of the warranty period which will vary between vehicle retailers and manufacturers.

Used cars warranties are determined by the consumer and dealer at the negotiation stage, the time of sale of the car and can vary greatly between dealers. You should request details of the warranty in writing, to determine what exactly is cover under the warranty terms and also the duration of the warranty period.

Is my warranty transferable?

In general, new vehicle manufacturer’s warranties are transferable between owners and cover any person who owns the vehicle during the warranty period. However, warranty terms do vary. For instance, many require the new owner to re-register the warranty. Franchise dealers of the vehicle brand in question normally re-affirm the continuation of the warranty on behalf of the manufacturer under the terms of the vehicle sales contract. It is important that the new owner clarifies their warranty rights at the time of purchase.

Used car warranties are non transferable and if your car requires repairs then it should be returned to the dealer from whom you purchased the car.

Am I entitled to a courtesy car while my vehicle is in for repairs?

It is at the discretion of the dealer to provide a customer with a courtesy car, it is not an entitlement. A customer may of course hire out a vehicle if the dealer has availability.

How do I know if a dealer is a member of SIMI?

You may search our directory which contains details of all our members around Ireland. If a dealer is a member of SIMI then they will have the current logo below displayed on their premises along with the current year of membership.

Where can I purchase a used car on the internet?

There are many used car websites on the internet. SIMI has its own used car website called beepbeep.ie. All the cars listed on beepbeep.ie come with a warranty, are history checked and are exclusively from SIMI members, so you the consumer have peace of mind when buying a used car.

If I change my mind am I entitled to my deposit back?

A deposit is a payment that is made to a retailer by a consumer which indicates an intention to buy a product or a service. The amount of the deposit and the timing of payment of the balance are a matter between the consumer and the supplier. When you pay a deposit for goods, a contract is created between you as a consumer, and the supplier of the product or service. If you change your mind and no longer wish to purchase the product, legally you will be seen as not fulfilling your part of the contract. You are not entitled to your deposit back if you simply change your mind. It will be up to the supplier as to whether they will refund any deposit paid.

What are wear & tear items?

The term wear and tear items refer to item that are serviceable and will regularly need replacement on a car due to natural wear. For example the change of tyres, wiper blades, oil etc.

What is vehicle registration tax?

Vehicle Registration Tax is chargeable on the registration of a motor vehicle in the State. All motor vehicles in the State, other than those brought in temporarily by visitors, must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners. A vehicle must be registered before it can be licensed for road tax purposes. For more information on VRT please click on the following link.

What requirements do I have when purchasing a car?

The registration of your vehicle is a legal requirement, it is also compulsory to have motor insurance and road tax. At the time of purchase a consumer must pay Vat and VRT. Please see the following link for more details on motor tax.

How do I find out about motor tax?

It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that his vehicle has motor tax. Please see the following link for more details on motor tax.

Where can I find information about NCT?

On the 4th of January 2000 the NCT was introduced complying with the EU Directive, which makes car testing compulsory in EU member states. The Directive’s primary aim is improving road safety and enhancing environmental protection. Please see the following link for more details on NCT.

Where can I find out information on my rights as a consumer?

The CCPC (Competition and Consumer Protection Commission) offers free and expert information on consumer rights and personal finance. Their website offers information on your consumer rights in relation to the purchase of a vehicle. 

Where can I find crash advice for motorists?

Customers deserve the best service and the best standard of repairs when they experience the trauma of a crash repair. The CSS (Certified Steel Standard) programme was established to help answer some of the questions that arise for customers when they have an accident and need to have their car repaired.

For more information about crash repairs visit our website page

Where can I get my vehicle independently assessed?

The Society receives many calls requesting names for an Automotive Assessor. Please note we do not supply an exact list of Independent Assessors but you may find the following links helpful.

What about Repair & Maintenance?

Most cars will need to be taken to a repairer at some stage of their lifetime. Generally repair costs are likely to increase as the car ages. It is also important to keep in mind that spare parts can become more difficult to obtain as a car ages. You can help the repairer find the fault by clearly explaining what is wrong with the car and if necessary go for a test drive with the repairer so you can point out the problem as it occurs.

It is important to note that diagnosing a car's problems is not always straight forward. Intermittent faults are often difficult to identify. The repairer may need to keep your car overnight in order to pinpoint a fault. The repairer may also find other faults before starting repairs. It is important to keep in mind that these problems may not have been included in the original quote.

The Road Safety Authority has composed a booklet outlining 12 basic vehicle maintence checks that a motorist should be aware of when looking after their vehicle.Click Here to download the booklet

Can I Request an Estimate?

Ask for a written estimate before you have any work done to your car. An estimate should contain details of the repairs that need to be undertaken and the cost of the work, including parts and labour. It should also include details of any agreements or promises and information about warranties on both parts and labour.

Before leaving your vehicle for repairs
After obtaining your estimate, you should ask the repairer to let you know if any work needs to be done on the car in the future. This will enable you to develop a maintenance plan. If somebody else is taking your car to the repairer, ensure that you explain what you want done. Remember, as your agent, that person will bind you to a contract with the repairer. However, it will be your responsibility to pay.

What if something else needs to be repaired after work has started?

Inform the repairer that you must be called before any repair work for which you have not authorised starts. Make sure that you are contactable in case you have to authorise extra repairs.


Upon payment of the invoice please check the invoice and ask the repairer to explain any costs calculations if you don’t understand any charges. Obtain a receipt and keep it safe as a clear record of regular servicing and repairs may add to the resale value of your vehicle.

If you are buying a car there are different ways which you can purchase paying cash, getting a personal loan or arranging finance through a garage
It will be up to you to decide which option works best for you. The CCPC have information available on Hire purchase, Personal Contract Plans (PCPs) 
Personal loans to assist you with your decision. 

Where can I find information about Electric Vehicle?

Many organizations are interested in the development, manufacture, sale or use of Electric Vehicles and their components. The following websites contain information about Electric Vehicles (EVs)

What is an Electric Car?
Electric Vehicles (EV) refer to both Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
Click to see How ECars Work

I am a Consumer where can I learn about the benefits of Electric Vehicles, Grants available, types of vehicles etc?
The SEAI Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland's Driving electric website provides detailed information for the consumer about the types of Electric Vehicles available, grants available, general information on vehicle safety, Motor Tax and VRT, electricity suppliers, infrastructure available and much more.

Where can I buy an electric vehicle?
There is an increasing variety of electric cars coming to the Irish market which will deliver high levels of performance, comfort and economy to suit a variety of needs. Click to view a selection of electric cars that are available to buy in Ireland.

Where electric charging points located?
There are 3 categories of charge points for electric car drivers to use. Home charge points, on-street charge points and fast charge points. ESB ecars have installed electric charge points at the following locations.

Ireland is in a fantastic position being the only country to offer free home charging points and free installation to the first 2,000 EV purchasers. The majority of EV customers will charge their vehicles at home overnight and will use the public charging points as a means to top up the vehicles charge when necessary. Fleet customers will generally charge the vehicles at their company premises or at the home of the driver.

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 (New European Driving Cycle) 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 had 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 WLTP fuel consumption and CO2 emission values have been used for consumer information purposes.

What does WLTP mean for the Motorist and what are the benefits?  

WLTP has been the basis for Ireland's Registration Tax (VRT) and Road Tax since January 2021. The new test is designed to be far more stringent than the older NEDC Test, requiring vehicle engines during its lab test 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. For more information on the taxation changes visit our taxation page.  


 The WLTP test will facilitate more realistic driving conditions which will include, 

  • More realistic driving behaviour;
  • A greater range of driving situations (urban, suburban, main road, motorway);
  • Longer test distances;
  • More realistic ambient temperatures, closer to the European average;
  • Higher average and maximum speeds;
  • Higher average and maximum drive power;
  • More dynamic and representative accelerations and decelerations;
  • Shorter stops;
  • Optional equipment: CO2 values and fuel consumption are provided for individual vehicles as built;
  • Stricter car set-up and measurement conditions;
  • Enables best and worst-case values on consumer information, reflecting the options available for similar car models.