Taximan told 'to go on social welfare' rather than buy new car

Danny said he was "shocked" to be given the advice by a representative of the National Transport Authority
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.10 4 Nov 2022

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Taximan told 'to go on social...

Taximan told 'to go on social welfare' rather than buy new car

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.10 4 Nov 2022

Share this article

A Dublin taximan has said he was "shocked" when he was given advice to go on social welfare, rather than try buying a new car.

Danny was previously involved in a crash which meant his car was a write-off.

He told Lunchtime Live he has been trying to get back on the road in a wheelchair accessible vehicle, especially in the run-up to Christmas.


"You can get a grant towards having a wheelchair accessible taxi, it doesn't matter if it's diesel or not," he said.

"However, they just stopped it: on the 20th of October they decided that there was no more wheelchair grants being given out.

"So, I rang the NTA [National Transport Authority] to find out will it be back next year, can I scrape through Christmas maybe renting a car or getting a loan of a taxi to be able to work?

"After talking to the representative, I was advised that maybe I should just surrender my plate and sign on the welfare.

"As you can imagine I was shocked to be given that advice".


Danny asked the NTA representative if this is what he was advising him to do and was told "I'm just telling you it's always an option."

"I was very shocked," he said.

He then asked if he had any other options open to him.

"I was told 'You can get the grant towards an electric wheelchair accessible taxi', and I said that sounds amazing - how much is that?

"He said 'We can give you up to €20,000 towards a wheelchair car if it's electric'".

Danny said an electric car can cost "as little as €36,000 and the Government will kindly give you €20,000.

However, this is not the case for wheelchair accessible cars.

"If you're a wheelchair accessible taxi, the cheapest available car to buy at the moment in Ireland is coming in at €66,000 - and some of them are excluding VAT and VRT, making them over €70,000".

'No incentive'

He said a second-hand car would actually create more expense for him.

"Your car must be no more than 10 years old if you're transferring a licence.

"I could get one that's nine years old or eight years old, but as soon as it hits more than 10 years old you have to have an NCT twice a year to make sure that it's road legal.

"You also have to have it passed out by the company Applus, who have to inspect your vehicle.

"They do it once a year up until 10 years, and then they do it twice a year, and you have to pay for this out of your own pocket.

"So, there's no incentive to buy an older car, even if I could get one at this point at a reasonable price".

Danny said he does not know where he stands now.

"I got a loan of a car for a couple of nights, but really I don't know where I'm at now," he said.

"I begged and pleaded with the NTA to let me know is this grant coming back for the wheelchair accessible [taxis], and the person on the phone went 'I can't tell you that, we don't know'.

"He kept on going on about that €20,000 grant, which as far as I can see is for taxi drivers with plenty of money in their pocket who can buy the brand-new electric vehicle and get the €20,000 back off the Government," he added.

Main image:  Taxis in line at O'Connell Street in Dublin city centre. Picture by: Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland

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