Frozen Windscreen’s a Thing of the Past?

Most of our trade customers will know the company National Vehicle Distribution or ‘NVD’ very well. The company has over 100 car transporters on the road in Ireland and accounts for over 70% of all new car movements in the country.

Unfortunately we don’t see them as often as we’d like now that new car sales have shrunk to just under 90,000 but you don’t have to be a major car dealer to use NVD. They were just as happy to take my 1973 Mercedes 280CE up to Donegal for some restoration work and bring it back to Ben at Lichtenberg classics in Enniskerry for some TLC under the hood.

Cian Royston, NVD’s Sales Manger called into Motocheck HQ this week to tell us about the companies latest services and an exciting new device they have brought to the Irish market.

The ‘Heatshot’ is a heated winscreen wash system that clears ice, snow, grease, bird droppings and dead insects from the windscreen, whilst prolonging the life of your wiper blades. With predictions of a harsh winter around the corner it looks like the ‘Heatshot’ will be a on many a Christmas present list. My Merc will certainly be a client!




To order one today

The Heatshot comes supplied and fitted at €250 per unit. You can find an approved ‘Heatshot’ dealer on the NVD website here. Mention when you’re ordering and you might manage to shave a euro or two off the price.


Bavaria City Racing Dublin brings Vodafone McLaren F1 Team to Dublin

Media Release – Thursday 10th November, 2011   

Bavaria City Racing Dublin bring Vodafone McLaren F1 Team to Dublin

Vodafone McLaren F1 car to race on the streets of Dublin


Bavaria City Racing Dublin today announced that for the first time ever, one of the leading F1 teams in the world will take to the streets of Dublin.  Thanks to Vodafone Ireland, the Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes F1 team has been signed up for the street racing exhibition in Dublin city centre on Sunday 3rd June. 

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will fight for the right to race their F1 Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes along the Dublin city track which starts at the Convention Centre Dublin, continues along Customs House Quay before crossing Butt Bridge, chicane’s at D’Olier Street, zips past College Green and the Central Bank on Dame Street before reaching the chequered flag on O’Connell Bridge. 

Bavaria City Racing Dublin is a free public event and over 150,000 people are expected to line the streets of Dublin to enjoy the best the world of motorsport has to offer. 

For those who want to get closer to the action there are three ticketed premium performance zones on the track at Customs House Quay, O’Connell Bridge and at the Main Paddock on North Wall Quay.  Tickets for these areas are priced from €75.90 and are available from Ticketmaster. 

Bavaria City Racing Dublin Ambassador, Eddie Jordan commented “I’m hugely excited about Bavaria City Racing Dublin, this is something spectacular, something you’ve never witnessed before and I for one can’t wait” 

Gavin Collins of Bavaria City Racing, commented, “We are delighted to be able to announce that the Vodafone-McLaren F1 team is coming to Dublin to be a centrepiece of the Bavaria City Racing Dublin experience.  They are a premier F1 team and Jenson and Lewis are two of the leading drivers in world motorsport.  Our thanks go to the Vodafone Ireland team, at their headquarters in Leopardstown, who were instrumental in ensuring that the team will be in Dublin next summer.” 

Robert Hyland, Sponsorship Manager at Vodafone Ireland, commented, “We are truly excited at the prospect of bringing the Formula 1 experience to Dublin. Jenson and Lewis are great sports ambassadors and we are delighted to be able to help showcase what they and the cars can do in front of an Irish audience. It will be a massive event for the city that will be remembered for years to come. 

Patrick Cooney, Managing Director of Gleeson commented, “Gleeson is delighted to be working with Bavaria to bring Bavaria City Racing to Dublin, having witnessed the event first hand in both Rotterdam and Moscow, I am confident that this will be a great event and will be supported by the people of Dublin, from all over Ireland and we also expect a large contingent from abroad. With the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Team onboard, this will be one of the most exciting events for Ireland in 2012.” 


For more information:

David Ó Síocháin, Pembroke Communications 087 936 2440 / 01 649 6322 

Eimear O’Connor, Pembroke Communications / 087 260 4085 / 01 649 6318


The BavariaCity Racing Dublin event is subject to licenses being granted 

About Bavaria City Racing Dublin

Bavaria City Racing transforms the city landscape into a racetrack to bring the world of motorsport onto the streets of major European cities.  It has been successfully hosted in Rotterdam and Moscow and comes to Dublin for the first time on Sunday 3rd June 2012. 

Although 94% of the event is free to the public, there are special ticketed premium performance zones along the racetrack that bring you closer to the action.   Performance zone ticket information is available from the Bavaria City Racing Dublin website and from Ticketmaster. 

Official event partners include Vodafone, and Monster. 

BavariaCity Racing DublinTicket Information

Ticket information is available at

Tickets are priced from €75.90

Rear window LED offers ‘friendly’ advice to the driver behind – Recipe for road rage?

The only communication device open to most drivers is the horn – or, in extreme cases, waving arms out the window and yelling.

But a new LED panel aims to change that – letting drivers send a message via Bluetooth from their mobile phone to a grid of LED lights on the back.

At present, the grid shows pre-programmed messages – but its designer says he has plans to use it to ‘Give feedback to drivers following me.’

Described as a ‘bad driver feedback display,’ the grid of LEDs is set 2cm apart across the rear windscreen of a Volkswagen Polo

What manner of chaos this might unleash on the world’s roads remains to be seen.

The pre-programmed messages include, ‘Driving slow!’ ‘Keep distance!’ and ‘Turn left!’

Early pictures and video of the device shows it offering tips from the rear window of designer Gagandeep Singh’s Volkswagen Polo.

The LEDs are hand-soldered into a grid, and spaced at 2cm intervals across the entire back windshield.

The 38 x 16 ‘resolution of the screen makes it ideal for short, two-word messages – words scroll across it from left to right, just like messages on motorway signs.

The LED screen was hand-soldered on a piece of waste wood. Its designer says that the spacing of the LEDs means its safe to use while driving as you can see straight through

Soldering together the grid took two days. The circuits that feed it messages were also programmed by hand.

The trickiest parts were ‘special characters’ such as helpful arrows pointing the direction that other drivers should steer.

The unit is controlled by a primitive AT89C51 microcontroller.

The LED grid scrolls through pre-programmed messages – its designer is now working on a Bluetooth receiver so it can be updated ‘live’ with ‘helpful messages’ for other drivers

Singh claims that the spacing of the tiny LEDs mean that the rear windscreen is fully transparent, so it’s safe to use behind the wheel.

Singh is now attempting to add a Bluetooth receiver, so drivers can update it via Bluetooth from a mobile phone.

Responsible road users would, of course, pull over to type in any advice, by which time the intended recipient might be miles ahead.

Read more: Daily Mail


Ireland new drink-driving limits come into effect at midnight on Friday the 27th October 2011

LOWER DRINK-driving limits come into effect from midnight, reducing the maximum blood-alcohol level to 20mg per 100ml of blood in some cases.

The changes, which bring Irish law into line with European levels, will see the current limit of 80mg drop to 50mg for most drivers.

Under the regime, professional drivers, learner drivers and those who are newly qualified will be subject to a lower 20mg limit, as will other categories such as those driving tractors or cars with trailers.

A penalty system is also being introduced to deal with offences detected under the limits.

Previously all drink-driving offences were dealt with in the courts and an automatic disqualification applied to convictions.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar yesterday joined the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána to raise awareness of the limits, ahead of a Garda safety campaign for the bank holiday weekend.

Mr Varadkar said the measures sent out a very clear signal that drinking and driving “cannot be tolerated and will be prosecuted”.

The Minister said similar measures in Queensland, Australia, saw an 18 per cent reduction in fatal collisions and 14 per cent in serious-injury collisions.

“Sweden saw a reduction of 9.7 per cent in fatal crashes and an 11 per cent decrease in single-vehicle collisions.”

Mr Varadkar denied the system was more lenient than one in which those found to have been driving over the limit automatically ended up in court.

“It’s a system of graduated penalties. If somebody is between 50mg and 80mg, they will get penalty points. If they’re above 80mg, they will get banned from driving.

“So in many ways it’s actually stricter. I think it’s important that people don’t mistake this for being a soft touch – it’s not.”

He said the system delivered a “zero tolerance policy” on drink-driving for learner drivers and those who drove professionally.

The Minister said enforcement was the key and the Government fully understood that An Garda Síochána was under pressure and already over budget this year.

Garda Chief Supt Aidan Reid said the force was ready to enforce the drink-driving limits from the time they come into effect at midnight.

He said the changes would have a “significant impact” on all drivers.

Chief Supt Reid said the system of penalties took account of first-time offenders, but that overall the effect would involve a court appearance for anyone subsequently caught drink-driving.

He also reminded drivers that it was a legal requirement to carry a valid driving licence when driving. “If a driver cannot produce his or her driving licence when required to undergo a preliminary breath test, the lower limit of 20 mg will apply to that driver, until such time as the driver produces a valid driving licence.” Asked what the lower alcohol levels meant in terms of the quantity of alcohol a person could safely consume, he said the only advice was never to drink and drive.

AA director of policy Conor Faughnan welcomed the graduated penalty system and said 80 per cent of motorists surveyed by the organisation were in favour.


THE REDUCTION in the alcohol limit can be implemented following the enactment of the Road Traffic No 2 Act 2011. Fixed-charge penalties under the system will apply as follows: 

* For a blood-alcohol level of 50mg-80mg, the driver will be arrested, brought to a Garda station and required to provide breath or blood or urine specimens.

* In all cases where the level is between 50mg and 80mg and the driver is not a “specified” person (eg, a learner or a professional driver) and has not had a fixed penalty for drink-driving in the previous three years, a fine of €200 and three penalty points will apply.

* Points will remain on the driving licence record for a period of three years.

* Any driver accumulating 12 points in three years will be disqualified from driving for six months.

* For a blood-alcohol level of 80mg-100mg, the arrested driver will be required to provide breath, urine or blood samples after arrest. The applicable fine will be €400 and the person will be disqualified for six months.

* For a blood-alcohol level of 20mg-80mg, the arrested driver will be required to provide breath, urine or blood samples. The applicable fine (provided the person has not received a fixed penalty in the previous three years under the scheme) will be €200 and the person will be disqualified for three months.

* District Court penalties will apply where the blood-alcohol level is above 100mg or above 80mg for those classed as “specified” persons, where the person is not eligible to be served with a fixed penalty notice or where a fixed penalty has not been paid.

* A sliding scale also applies to convictions with a consequent driving ban of between six months and six years, depending on the blood-alcohol limit applying to the driver concerned.

* The maximum fine remains at €5,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment.

Online second-hand car buying tool kit launched to help prospective buyers

People who are unsure about the pros and cons of buying second-hand cars are being offered help thanks to an online tool kit that has been launched by The National Consumer Agency.  This is in response to the Agency receiving almost 2,000 queries about second-hand motors since the start of 2011. This agency will also help you find a cheap car insurance quote for your vehicle.

Users of the guide will have access to aspects of financial information for buying a car, which include a personal loan calculator to assist customers to work out how much a vehicle loan will cost as well as an insurance quotes ‘shopping around’ checklist.

The online tool kit also incorporates a guide to purchasing a used vehicle, what steps to take if something goes wrong with the motor and information on the rights of the person buying the car and the responsibilities of both buyers and sellers.

Director of Commercial Practices with the National Consumer Agency, John Shine said, “The same consumer rights do not apply when you are buying from a private seller, so it is a case of buyer beware. A simple precaution such as ensuring the seller is the legal owner of the car, checking the cars documentation history and asking if the car was ever crashed or imported means you can satisfy yourself before you strike a deal.”

It can be a difficult task making sure that when you are buying a second-hand car everything is above board, so checking the National Consumer Agency’s motor buying tool kit can answer some of your queries.

Bucharest, Romania Grand Prix Oct 21-23 2011

Next stop for the MG Crash Repairs owned by Mark Gaffney from Dublin, Ireland team is the Bucharest Grand Prix in Romania this weekend!

As we speak the car is already in Bucharest and the team join up with the car early Friday morning in preperation for what has to be one of the biggest drift events to be seen in Europe this year. 

Located on the streets of Bucharest with the World famous People’s Palace (Casa Poporului) as the backdrop this is a one of a kind event.
With champions from all across Europe competing for the €10,000 purse the competition will be fierce for the top step of the podium.


The event gets underway with a parade through Downtown Bucharest on Friday night and the track action kicks off Saturday afternoon with Practice and Qualifying for the main event Sunday.

For more information on the Bucharest Grand Prix go to media partners and check out their in depth features on the drivers and other news related to the Bucharest Grand Prix 2011.

New Survey in Ireland shows ‘One in Five’ Cars Clocked

Irish Cars and UK Imports Proven to be of Similar Risk

 Car history check provider today announced the results of an in-depth study into the number of clocked cars in Ireland.

The study is the first of its kind to publish the top twenty makes and models of cars on the road that are potentially clocked. Given that thirty eight individual manufacturers were identified as having fallen victim to the fraud, it is clear that the vast majority of cars are susceptible to the practice and no individual brand is immune.

 The study examined six thousand individual reports that were produced by  this year for private consumers. 

 Of the selection analysed, found one thousand two hundred and twenty four vehicles (20%) were uncovered as having a discrepancy with the vehicles reported odometer reading.

 Commenting on the results Director Shane Teskey said “It’s clear that car clocking is still a very serious problem in Ireland. The results of this analysis returned a discrepancy for one in every five cars which is very worrying and shows that despite the advances in vehicle technology car clocking is still prevalent.”

 The study found that cars registered new outside Ireland only had a slightly greater chance of returning an odometer discrepancy than those registered in Ireland. Of those linked to a UK registration plate 55% were returned with a warning whereas vehicles first registered in Ireland returned a mileage problem in 45% of cases.

 “Car clocking is not something that’s restricted to a particular brand or country of origin” said Mr. Teskey. “There is an expectation amongst private buyers that a car registered new in Ireland is a safer bet than a second hand vehicle imported from the UK but our study shows both groups are at a substantial risk.” operates the Irish National Mileage Register (INMR) which currently holds in excess of 3.9 million odometer readings. For UK registered vehicles the service has access to a database of over 50 million records. claims that the ongoing improvement in its detection rate is directly linked to the quantity and quality of readings compiled by its research team.

 Commenting on the deterrent a Motorcheck report provides Mr. Teskey said, “Interfering with the odometer in a modern car is relatively straight forward for a car clocker but explaining away the warning a documented history from uncovers is a completely different matter altogether. Most car clockers will shy away from selling a car that has had its mileage verified by lest they be caught when they try to sell it later on.” 

Top 20 Makes & Models 

The Top 20 Makes & Models listed below was extrapolated from the study where the affected vehicles are represented as a percentage of the total vehicles active on Irish roads. 

Make Model

No. of clocked vehicles on the road (Estimate)

Ford Focus


Toyota Avensis


Volkswagen Passat


Toyota Corolla


Ford Transit


Volkswagen Golf


Nissan Almera


Audi A4


Ford Mondeo


Renault Megane


Nissan Micra


BMW 3 Series


Skoda Octavia


Opel Astra


Renault Scenic


Honda Civic


Toyota Yaris


Nissan Primera


Peugeot 307


BMW 5 Series



An odometer discrepancy occurs on a report when the documented mileage reading (current or historic) for a car conflicts with a previous reading(s) recorded by the Irish National Mileage Register (INMR). The INMR currently holds just under four million records, each of which are audited by the service and available to every report requested. 

In addition, has access to over fifty million odometer readings in the UK that are consulted daily when verifying the history of an Irish car that has been imported from Britain.