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Breaking the Barriers – Irish team only one of 22 nations with a female competitor

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Breaking the Barriers – Irish team only one of 22 nations with a female competitor

Inaugural FIA Masters Hill Climb Championship and Nations Cup

Irish Team with cars, taken at Knockalla Hillclimb September 2014Irish Team. L-R Joe Courtney individual competitor , Rory Stephens, Deirdre Mckinley  and Irish Team Mascot baby Rory, Simon,, Eanna CarrollSimon McKinleyin action at Naul Hillclimb August 2013~1

Morsport Ireland announced today that the Irish team are in good spirits as they face the challenge of competing at the first ever FIA Masters Hill Climb Championship and Nations Cup event this weekend in Eschdorf in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Alex Sinclair, CEO Motorsport Ireland stated, “The Inaugural FIA Masters Hill Climb Championships presents a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of Ireland’s best drivers in the discipline. This hugely popular form of motor sport tests both drivers and their cars to the limit. As a nation we should also be very proud of the fact that we are the only country that has a female driver as part of our Irish team.”
The event brings together 154 the top international drivers from the season, who have proved themselves in the FIA European Hill Climb Championship, the International Hill Climb Cup or in their respective national championships.

Six Irish competitors are making the trip to this event which not only gives them the opportunity to compete on the international stage but also allows them to demonstrate the immense talent contained within the Irish Championship. As well as competing for overall honours in each category four competitors from each nation will form a team to compete for the Nations Cup.


The Irish team is made up of Irish National Champion Simon McKinley, Deirdre McKinley, Eanna Carroll and Rory Stephens.

Deirdre McKinley, Irish Team member, stated “With so many people from Ireland planning on travelling to the event to support all the Irish drivers Eschdorf is sure to be a sea of green white and gold for the weekend. We are all very excited to be representing Ireland and I am very honoured to be the only female racing driver competing for my country. “
The Hill Climb Masters are organised jointly by the Union des Pilotes, the Automobile Club de Luxembourg and the FIA. Saturday 11 October will be devoted to the practice heats, with three climbs for each driver. The following day, three race heats are scheduled, starting at 9.30 a.m.


The Nations cup will be won by the team that has the most consistent times from each of the four drivers in each national team.

Published under Motoring Newssend this post
October 7th, 2014

As many as a tenth of all UK imported cars may be crashed or written off

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written-off-carsAs many as a tenth of all UK imported cars may be crashed or written off.

Startling figures from car history experts show that as many as a tenth of used cars being imported from the UK may have been previously written off.

In the first comprehensive analysis of its kind, examined a 10,000-strong sample of the cars imported into Ireland from the UK in 2012, and found that over 950 of these were previously categorised as Category A, B, C or D write-offs. Some had even been crashed multiple times.

In the case of the lower categories (C & D), especially on older cars, it is possible for a write-off to occur when a car has suffered relatively minor and easily repaired damage.

The problem comes with the Category A or B write-offs. These are much more serious. In the case of Category A the law in the UK states that such cars must be scrapped and no components sold on and re-used in other cars. Parts from Category B write-offs can be re-used but only under strictly controlled circumstances. In both cases a certificate of destruction must be issued. Clearly, however, there are a large number of unscrupulous sellers breaking the law and offloading dangerously repaired wrecks onto unsuspecting new customers.

Given the fact that Motorcheck’s sample was so large, it can be said with some safety that the sample can be extrapolated, and that as many as 3,500 to 4,000 of the cars imported from the UK last year (assuming an annual average import level of 40,000) have previously been written off.

While it’s true that many of those vehicles may have been safely and legally repaired and put back on the road, it’s still extremely worrying that there is now a large number of cars in daily use out there that are simply not safe enough to be driven. Irish buyers should be aware of this danger when buying an imported car, and other road users are equally at risk.

Commenting on the findings Co-Founder Shane Teskey said “It is extremely important that buyers check for any outstanding write-off classification before they buy a car. That’s not to say that a category C or D write off cannot represent good value for money, provided it has been repaired correctly, but it is only by checking it first that you can make the informed decision and consider any potential ‘walk away defects’ before you buy the car”.

Considering the scientific robustness of the sample, it could reasonably be extended out to all cars imported from the UK currently running on Irish roads. Out of the current 2.4-million cars on Irish roads, approximately 500,000 are imported from the UK, which means that as many as 45,000 cars on our roads today may have been previously written off.


·         The sample is taken from 10,000 vehicles imported into Ireland from the UK during 2012

·         This number represents approximately 22% of annual imports in a typical year (taking last 5 years imports as an average)

·         It shows approximately 900 of these vehicles were previously written off (Category A, B, C or D) at least once. Some were written off multiple times

·         This represents approximately 9% of the sample

·         The sample is robust enough to extrapolate that approximately 9% of all imports from the UK may have been written off previously

·         Given that an average of 40,000 – 45,000 vehicles are imported into Ireland from the UK annually, it is safe to assume that approximately 3,500 – 4,000 previously written off vehicles are imported into Ireland each year

·         Used car buyers can verify the write off history for any UK import using its Irish number plate on The check costs €20 and will also report on potential mileage discrepancies, NCT status, whether the vehicle was ever used as a Taxi or Hackney.

August 12th, 2013

New Golf Pushes Volkswagen to the Number One Spot

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The eagerly awaited first quarter results for new car sales are in and can reveal that Volkswagen is now officially Ireland’s best selling brand for 2013 (year to date).

The closing stages of the race proved to be extremely significant with 56% of March’s total registrations recorded on the last five days of the month.

Nevertheless the German manufacturer crossed the finish line with 4,882 cars registered; a comfortable 747 units ahead of Japanese rival Toyota who came in at 4,135.

The Volkswagen Golf proved to be largely unstoppable and a major part of the brands quarterly success. figures show that there were 2,083 new Golf’s registered in the first quarter of this year representing a whopping 43% of Volkswagen’s total sales. No surprise then that it’s the most popular car this year ahead of the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Focus in second and third place respectively.

The overall market does however remain somewhat depressed. Total sales for 2013 are 13% down on 2012 with 39,595 new cars registered against 45,593 for the equivalent period in 2012.

The only brands in the Top 10 to show an increase in volumes registered were Hyundai (up 25%), Audi (up 13%) and Kia (up 5%).

Popular brands Renault, Toyota & Ford suffered the biggest losses with a drop of 47%, 29% and 23% respectively.

The industry will now set its sights firmly on July 1st when it’s hoped that the ‘13-2’ number plate will stimulate a ‘second coming’ for new car sales.


Top 10 Makes                      Units              Market Share

Volkswagen                            4,882              12.33%

Toyota                                    4,135              10.44%

Ford                                        3,851              9.73%

Nissan                                     3,364              8.5%

Hyundai                                 3,282              8.29%

Skoda                                      2,756              6.96%

Opel                                        2,634              6.65%

Audi                                        2,060              5.20%

Kia                                          1,815              4.58%

Renault                                   1,805              4.56%



Top 10 Models                     Units              Market Share

Volkswagen Golf                    2,083              5.26%

Nissan Qashqai                      1,994              4.91%

Ford Focus                             1,500              3.79%

Ford Fiesta                             1,336              3.37%

Toyota Auris                          1,219              3.08%

Volkswagen Passat                1,134              2.86%

Opel Astra                              1,051              2.65%

Toyota Yaris                           1,036              2.62%

Skoda Octavia                        1,034              2.61%

Toyota Avensis                      973                 2.46%

April 6th, 2013

The Eagerly Awaited Dacia Brand Arrives In Ireland

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The Eagerly Awaited Dacia Brand Arrives In Ireland 

Shockingly Affordable Duster to hit Irish Roads  
Having taken the global car market by storm in recent years, the arrival of Dacia in Ireland is
expected to shake things up  – a lot!
At a time when prices seem to be climbing for almost everything else, Dacia brings a
refreshing smart-buy concept to Ireland and is one  of the most exciting motor stories of
2012. Its arrival here will see the Duster SUV in Irish showrooms in January 2013, at a
shockingly affordable €14,990.
However, customers will be delighted to know that they can test drive and order their
Duster now through their local Dacia Dealership.  The launch of Dacia Duster in Europe in
2010 saw such a demand from eager customers that resulted in a six-month waiting list for
the much anticipated vehicle in Germany and France.
The SUV segment is the fastest growing segment in Ireland and is up 9% YTD on 2011.
Almost 90% of vehicles in the SUV segment are over  €22,500 to buy new or even over
€24,500 to have the equivalent diesel engine for the best seller of the segment, so with that
in mind, the Duster will quickly become a very attractive contender for those looking at
buying a new SUV, a new family car or even a used car.
The multi-award winning Duster will wow buyers with its chunky and unpretentious styling,
impressive and versatile interior space, peerless build quality and unbeatable value for
money. The eagerly-awaited Duster SUV is expected to kick its segment competitors into
touch with its super-mini or in some cases city-car pricing. Quite simply no other car in the
country will offer the same price, size and equipment for the money.
The Duster will be available in Ireland in both 4×2 and 4×4 guises with one diesel engine size,
a punchy 1.5 dCi 110Bhp in Band B with two trims, Alternative 4×2 and Signature 4×2, 4×4,
and comes with an up to five year unlimited mileage warranty.
Everything that Dacia does is centred on simplicity and eliminating the unnecessary. Its
model range in Ireland, Duster, Sandero Hatch launching in January 2013, Sandero CrossOver and Grand Sandero launching later in 2013, reflect this, giving customers the ability to
buy exactly what they need and nothing more.
Julien Lelorrain, Marketing Director, Dacia Ireland 
“Dacia has arrived and this brand will shake up the Irish motor industry. It could not be a
better time to announce the price of Ireland’s smartest buy. Dacia is generous, reliable,
simple and smart. We believe Dacia will change the way people buy cars. No doubt that the
launch of Dacia in Ireland will continue its great success of being the fastest growing brand
in Europe.”
Dacia DNA… 
So what makes Dacia tick? 
It offers an unbeatable combination of price and size versus competitors, functional cleverly
designed cars, reliability with proven engine technology which is robust and built to stand
the test of time and it’s a smart buy.
About Dacia – The Brand: 
Dacia re-emerged amidst a blaze of publicity in 2004 with the Logan, which sold 65,000 units
in the first year. In 2010 Dacia became France’s fourth bestselling brand and the Duster
becoming the bestselling 4×4 in the country. Eight  years on and with five more models
under its belt, Dacia has been trying to keep up with surging global demand for its high
quality reliable and affordable vehicles ever since. Since 2004, over 1.8 million Dacia models
have been sold.
In 2011, Dacia was Europe’s fastest growing car brand, coming out tops in Romania and
Dacia Reliability: 
When it comes to reliability, Dacia excels. Every model is extensively tested, primarily so
that they can cope with tough terrain and weather extremes. Dacia makes extensive use of
proven and honed technology from within the Renault-Nissan alliance to ensure cars are
built to stand the test of time with impressive results – Dacia was just awarded “Most
Reliable Car brand” by 30,000 survey respondents in 5 countries (France, Italy, Spain,
Belgium and Portugal). (Feb. 2012)
Dacia – A social phenomenon: 
In just eight years, the Dacia brand has developed  a thriving community of owners who
never miss an opportunity to be together or communicate. Its web forums are twice as busy
as those of other brands. This sense of community, the popularity of the Dacia models and
the diversity of its expanding range has given rise to a whole new approach to motoring. In
2011, more than 10,000 proud owners took part in a  variety of Dacia Community events
across Europe! Dacia – the ‘Smart Buy’ brand:
For several years now, the Dacia brand has pioneered a revolutionary approach to car
– Generous: for the average price of a given segment, Dacia customers have access to a
vehicle from the next segment up, with plenty of space for passengers and luggage.
– Reliable: Dacia is ranked among the very top brands for reliability and low servicing costs.
– Simple: fuss-free ownership, from the day the vehicle is bought to its resale. Dacia pricing
is straightforward and transparent, while the brand’s models are among the markets very
best when it comes to holding their value.
– Smart: Buying a Dacia is seen as a ‘smart buy’, which allows customers to purchase only
what they really need:
Dacia allows countless motorists who previously had to settle for a used vehicle to own a
new vehicle with a uniquely extensive specification. Dacia vehicles are known to be
simple, generous, robust and 100 % functional. They also deliver exceptional cabin space
for the sort of price tag that was normally only associated with used vehicles, and their
outstanding reliability provides real peace of mind, with low servicing costs backed up to
five years unlimited mileage warranty.
The Dacia Duster will be available at the nine dedicated Dacia Dealers around the country.
Visit  to find your nearest dealer.
Notes to Editors:
See Dacia Duster Specifications on USB
For further information, images etc. please contact
Róisin O’Hea
T: 01-6608524  M: 086-2430839
Published under Dacia, Motoring Newssend this post
July 19th, 2012

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

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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.

October 27th, 2011

Is this the end of road for the uninsured vehicle

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Ireland seems set to follow the example of the UK, which last week introduced legislation to make an offence to own an uninsured vehicle

THE DEPARTMENT of Transport is examining the possibility of introducing a requirement for continuous insurance for all vehicles, regardless of whether they are off the road.

Last week Britain introduced a law making it an offence to own an uninsured vehicle – even if kept in a garage or permanently parked up. Until now it had only been an offence to drive an uninsured vehicle.

Under Irish law, motorists are permitted to temporarily register a vehicle as being off the road and therefore not requiring insurance.

A spokesman for Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar says the department was looking at introducing a similar change.

If introduced, it would be the latest in a series of changes to the enforcement of uninsured driving, the centrepiece of which is a new automatic number plate reading system operated by An Garda.

The Road Traffic Act 2010 put the use of the system on a legislative footing and since June 1st its use has been extended to all vehicles, including fleet vehicles and those in the motor trade.

This system uses cameras installed in marked and unmarked Garda cars to read number plates of passing cars to identify those which are uninsured.

Niall Doyle, corporate affairs manager of the Irish Insurance Federation, says a file based on data from all 26 insurers in the Irish market was supplied daily to An Garda for use in the detection of uninsured vehicles.

Noel Brett, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority, says the State should introduce a legal obligation for continuous motor insurance and tax.

John Casey, chief executive of the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, says continuous insurance was of “extreme interest” to his agency but he questioned whether the information held on driver databases was accurate enough for the system to be introduced immediately.

“The geneses of continuous insured enforcement in the UK is that the two databases; the DVLA, which is the state database and the motor insurers’ database. Both of these are extremely accurate and hold current information.

“We’d be very interested to go down the same route. Nonetheless, we are not quite at the stage where our databases would be at the level of accuracy where we could guarantee to the motoring public that the exact coterie of uninsured vehicles would be identified.

“Certainly the jury is out in terms of the level of accuracy that would be required for continuous insurance. At the moment we are looking closely at what has happened in Britain,” he adds.

Casey says approximately 100,000 vehicles in the State are uninsured, or 5 per cent of the total.

This excludes vehicles where the owner has notified the insurer that the vehicle is off the road.

Last year, the bureau paid out €59 million to 3,484 victims of a collision with an uninsured driver.

The bureau has a recovery policy where it seeks to recover the cost of the claim from an uninsured driver.

Last year it recovered €9.4 million, a total covering claims from a number of years.

June 29th, 2011

A car that can read out email, Facebook updates

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Scientists have developed what they say is the world’s first “Internet Car” which can read out your emails, Facebook and Twitter updates.

The unique Rinspeed BamBoo car can also help motorists behind the wheel surf the net by using a series of voice commands.

To avail the facilities, drivers only need to attach their smart phones or iPads into a charger in the electric car before they set off, the media reported.

Designed by global audio and infotainment group Harman, the vehicle also allows drivers to search radio stations with voice commands using it’s special “infotainment” technology.

The car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show recently. According to Harman, the first cars fitted with the technology could be on the road within 18 months.

Spokeswoman Kay Robinson said, “The technology is designed to prevent the driver being distracted by texts and emails.

“Through voice commands the computer reads a person’s messages to them as they drive.”

The car is compatible with all smart phones, iPads and Blackberry devices. Twitter updates, Facebook messages and instant texts can all be accessed by the driver while the car is moving.

It also comes fitted with its own Wi-Fi transmitter allowing passengers to use their laptops or mobile devices.

“At the moment, when a driver receives a text or an email or even a Twitter update they have to pull over to read it,” said Robinson. “This technology means they can be kept up to date without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road,” she added.

Published under Motoring Newssend this post
March 10th, 2011