Written-off import cars are hitting Irish roads

A lack of legislation means one in ten imported cars were considered write-offs in the UK...

Ireland is a prime import destination for cars that have previously been written off, according to the RTÉ Investigations Unit.

Chiefly imported from the United Kingdom but also the far-flung likes of Australia, these 'Category B' write-offs had been deemed unroadworthy and unfit for repair abroad.

Despite this, a gap in legislation in Ireland has meant it is perfectly legal for them to be repaired, registered and driven on Irish roads.

Aside from safety issues, this can have insurance implications; if the car is involved in an accident and the insurer discovers its 'Category B' history, the amount paid out to the driver could plummet.

While car dealers are required to disclose a car's history, some are not informing people purchasing 'Category B' vehicles about its write-off reputation.

Vehicle history website cartell.ie has reported that one in ten cars imported into Ireland over a six-month period last year had been deemed unroadworthy and unfit for repair in the UK.

Including registered but untaxed vehicles, that percentage rose to 12.6%.

The previous Irish government had pledged to introduce legislation making 'Category B' cars illegal on Irish roads, but it was never put in place.

Currently, insurers can voluntarily log details of write-offs with the Department of Transport. The Road Safety Authority has called for this system to be made mandatory.