Irish roads awash with ‘written off’ cars imported from UK

Cartell®, the only independent car history checking company claims that up to 23,000 vehicles imported from the UK which were classed as ‘write offs’ by UK insurers may have been issued with Irish registrations. carried out a study of a random sample of 4,479 vehicles imported to Ireland from the UK between 2001 and 2005. The study examined the number of vehicles registered for a particular year and the number of alerts imposed by UK insurers against that figure. For example, in 2005 of the 900 vehicles studied 51 of those were classed in the UK as a ‘write off’ *.

Jeff Aherne of comments, “Since January 1995 there have been 3,350,675 vehicles registered in Ireland. Of this it is estimated that 319,816 vehicles have come from the UK. If the average percentage of write offs set out in our sample is applied to this figure, then we estimate that over the last 12 twelve years, 22,834 written off vehicles have been imported from the UK and have potentially been running on Irish roads”.

Aherne commented further, “While these figures are absolutely astounding, what is even more shocking is that the UK authorities notify their Irish counterparts of a Category C and above write off classification, via the UK’s Vehicle Licensing Certificate (log book). However, this data has not made its way from the UK log book to the Irish log book and the impact of this is that Irish drivers are now in the dark about the cars’ true history. We at are calling on the Government to ensure that the Revenue Commissioners transfer all write-off data to the NVF – past and present – and furthermore put in place the necessary safeguards which include a new category of write off system and uploading the necessary information onto the Vehicle Registration Certificate”.

The Report found that the Revenue Commissioners, who receive millions of Euros in Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) annually, are the first to receive write off classification but there is no process in place to act on this data.

In conclusion, Jeff Aherne comments “This is not a blame exercise but we simply can’t have a situation where peoples’ lives are put at risk because of poor procedures and what appears to be a general lack of accountability from various organisations and departments. In addition, with the write off percentages so high in Ireland, it would seem apparent that there are unscrupulous individuals operating and profiting from the lack of adequate procedures, with the ultimate loser being Irish drivers. This report throws up more questions than it provides answers and is calling for a complete, thorough and transparent investigation take place so we can keep dangerous vehicles off Irish roads”.

* The UK insurance industry standard for the categorisation of written off cars

  • Category A – beyond repair, vehicle must be crushed
  • Category B – vehicles body must be crushed, may be used for supplying some replacement parts
  • Category C – vehicle has been extensively damaged and repaired
  • Category D – vehicle has been damaged, insurer decided not to repair

Company Background

Cartell is totally independent and wholly owned Irish company which was set up by Jeff and Nicola Aherne in 2006. Car history checking is Cartell’s core business which has no distractions or conflicts of interest. It is a tool to help Irish consumers purchase safer vehicles secure in the knowledge that it has been independently checked out.