Motoring News

Work underway on next World Rally It’s nine months until the World Rally comes back to Ireland and the Boyle committee is already hard at work planning events to coincide with the rally which takes place from January 29th to February 1st 2009. Rally Ireland was the most watched World Rally Championship event in 2007, according to global TV figures released recently. Chief Executive of the WRC TV rights holders, ISC’s Simon Long, was full of praise for the event: ‘With 62 million viewers tuning in to watch from all over the world, Rally Ireland was undoubtedly a major success – both at home and abroad. ‘From a TV perspective, the jewels in the crown of Rally Ireland were the spectacular two live stages in Stormont Castle, Belfast and Mullaghmore, Sligo. This proved the value of a close collaboration between ISC, the host broadcaster, RTÉ, and the promoter of Rally Ireland. It also set the benchmark for other WRC events to follow.’ This unique cross-border event, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland and Sport NI, travelled through eight counties. The four-day event attracted more than 250,000 spectators in 2007 and generated more than €48 million for the economy. Winners and losers in VRT changes A new report commissioned by has shown that some cars may be devalued by thousands overnight after the VRT changes come into effect in July of this year. Current car buyers or those intending to purchase a petrol vehicle before the VRT changes in July are set to benefit most in the face of a likely hike in the price of many of Ireland’s most popular vehicles including Toyota’s 1.6 Avensis Strata Saloon and the recently launched Renault Laguna 1.6 Dynamique. Conversely, those in possession of vehicles such as a BMW 520D MSport or a Subaru 2.5 Automatic Outback could see their cars devalued by as much as up to €10,000, according to the industry information listed. Talking about the impact that the new Vehicle Registration Tax is likely to have on the Irish car market, Shane Teskey, Co-Founder said, ‘New car prices are about to fluctuate considerably as a result of the inclusion of Co2 emissions in the government’s calculations for determining VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax). When the price of a new car changes significantly there is bound to be a knock-on effect in the second hand car market. Come July 1st, some prices will change radically and I wouldn’t be surprised if some people saw their current car devalued by as much as €10,000 overnight. ‘Car sales forecourts in Ireland are stocked with approx 100,000 used cars at the moment. It’s a great opportunity for first time buyers but if you are considering a ‘green car’ after July and have a trade-in to offload, things could be difficult’ he warns. Shortfalls between car values and their finance settlements are an equally likely side effect, according to Teskey and one that could affect many of us with over 70% of cars purchased in Ireland subject to a finance agreement. ‘Usually loan repayments will run in line with a vehicle’s depreciation but a real tremor in the market could mean that whilst your car is now only worth €40,000, your loan repayments are still based on the original €50,000 – a significant shortfall to make up if you are thinking about changing your car before the end of the finance period.’