Irish cars getting older

  • Average car age has increased month on month since 2006 to 7.4 years
  • Cars are more reliable so people holding onto them for longer
  • Economic downturn a crucial factor
  • Number of cars per capita increased substantially since 2006
  • Scrappage scheme helped to slow aging process

Ireland’s population is aging. But it’s not just the good citizens of the State; it’s their cars too. That’s what the latest data released by official vehicle records experts, reveals as we approach the final quarter of the year and car buyers consider their options for 2012.

In January 2006 the average age of a car in Ireland was less than six years old. By the start of 2011 this had risen to 7.4 years, with a month-by-month increase.

The simple reason for this is that significantly less new vehicles have been sold in Ireland since 2009.’s data reveals a less well publicised factor, in that nearly half of the cars registered in Ireland in 2009 were in fact used imports. That too will age the overall fleet of cars in the country.

You don’t need to be an economist to know that the sharp drop in new car sales in 2009 was primarily to do with the credit crunch and an ensuing global recession. However, it’s believed that drivers are happier to hold onto their cars for longer too, as reliability and durability has improved dramatically in the past decade. Significant rust is a thing of the past too.

This is illustrated by the considerable number of cars on the road that were originally registered in the year 2000. That year saw the most registrations in Irish history, and nearly 220,000 cars from that year are included in the current national fleet.

During the boom times more people bought more cars, the effect being a larger overall fleet and more cars per capita than ever before. Now those cars are aging and, despite the scrappage scheme, less are being de-fleeted.

Figures for 2011 to the end of July suggest that there is a slow down in the aging process, with the average age of a car seemingly flattening out at a little less than 7.4 years. It’s too early to tell for sure if the scrappage scheme has had an effect on that, though’s data to the end of 2012 will surely answer that question.

What does this mean for the Irish economy? Well an aging fleet requires more maintenance and more NCTs so it will sustain those industries and jobs, though if new car sales remain suppressed the downside is fewer jobs in retail and a lower overall tax take.

About’s tagline, “You find the car… We’ll tell the story” says it all. Following a free car identity check a buyer has a choice of four different reports on the history of the car they are considering buying. It ranges from a useful history and mileage check to a report that also looks for any outstanding finance in Ireland or the UK. even offers an engineer inspection. Thousands of Euros may be saved by using this service.


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