The Irish Motor Industry is calling for a review of the current Vehicle Registration Plate System are being as a strategy to beat the seasonality factors that are causing high and low activity trends for the industry.
Eddie Murphy, president of SIMI, said a lot has changed since the current scheme’s introduction 23 years ago, including a huge increase in the number of vehicles on the road, an improved road network, and big changes in driver and car buyer behaviour.
The society is now questioning whether the system is still delivering effectively to key stakeholders including the Gardaí, local authorities, motorists and the motor industry. As it stands 54 per cent of new cars are sold within the first quarter of the year, 70 per cent in the first six months, and there is no doubt that the registration system plays a big part in this, he said.
“The issue of seasonality causes problems for a number of the key stakeholders and particularly for us in the motor industry,” Mr Murphy added. “This all results in huge cost and staff pressures put on businesses in the first half of the year.
“While our current system is easy to understand and is a big driver of sales, if there is a bad start to the year, it means that the State’s revenue will have no chance to recover, as sales in the second half are so low. It is a high risk system.”
This seasonality of new car sales also has a knock-on effect on the NCT system. “The NCT testing system is also based on the date of first registration and suffers huge backlogs in the early part of the year with a very quiet final few months. There isn’t a quick fix solution but we need to open up the debate with all those involved to see if we can find a way to improve the system to benefit all of the key parties,” he said.