Bianca and the Audi A1

Interview With Bianca Hurduc, Arctic Swan

Bianca and the Audi A1
Bianca and the Audi A1

Bianca Hurduc is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the car blog Arctic Swan. She is based in France and her site features a mixture of automotive news, interviews and test drives!

1. Can you introduce yourself in a couple of sentences?

Hi everyone, I'm Bianca and I'm an automotive blogger based in France, at the border with Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany. I discovered my passion for cars when I was little but I didn't explore it until almost two years ago, when I decided to turn it into an entrepreneurial initiative, by starting my own automotive magazine. I love coffee, the sound of engines and driving, of course.

2. What was your first car? 

It was a blue Opel Corsa C, 3-door hatchback, 1.3 L. Born in 2002.

3. What inspired your blog Arctic Swan?

When a woman becomes a mother, her whole life changes in a heartbeat. After I had my daughter I became a stay-at-home mom, although until then I was a workaholic involved in the business of online media publishing. I bought my web domain months before I started my project and it's called ArcticSwan because my aim was to dye my hair in arctic grey color (this is still a plan). I have been searching for many years for an idea I would be deeply passionate about. I thought about it a lot. Didn't find it. Until one day - it was just a regular day in which I was driving to the supermarket and I noticed that there were many women in the traffic. Then, I just knew that an automotive project written from a feminine perspective was something I had to create. Women behind the wheel inspired me to create this blog.

Bianca and the Tesla Model X
Bianca and the Tesla Model X

4. How does it feel as a woman entering what has traditionally been the male domain of cars?  

Very good! Since this is a niche that hasn't yet been totally explored by women there are plenty of creative projects that can be built around cars, from a feminine point of view. I'm speaking of automotive content, there are many ladies that work in this industry and they do a great job.

5. What is the mission of Arctic Swan?

First of all, this is an online book I'm creating for my daughter. I think and hope she will enjoy reading what her mom wrote and maybe she will remember our trips with these cars we are testing together.

The other mission of Arctic Swan is to become the place where women come to inform themselves when they want to buy a new car. Women pick their cars slightly differently to men. Their top preferences are not quite the same. And since I think there is not enough automotive content that answers women's automotive questions, Arctic Swan can help lady drivers to make a decision.

6. Which car has been your favourite to test and why?

Oh, this is a hard question to answer! I loved every single car I tested. I'm grateful I have the chance to drive the newest cars on the market, I'm in Candyland. But if I had to choose, I would say it depends on my lifestyle. The BMW Z4 sDrive 30i will always have a special place in my heart but in this moment of my life I would choose the Audi A1 - it's a combination of the things I search for in a car right now and this is the first one that inspired my daughter to climb behind a steering wheel. If I would have to choose a car for a family roadtrip, the Tesla Model X would be my first choice.  For our family daily-drive I would choose the DS7 Crossback. There's a new hybrid version I would like to test.

7. What has been your most memorable moment with Arctic Swan so far?

It was the 3rd of March 2018 and it started snowing, although a few days earlier spring seemed to embrace the region. It was a special thing because it happened seconds after I had just climbed in the first car I ever tested in partnership with a car dealer, a lovely, acid yellow Hyundai Kona.

Bianca and the Hyundai Kona
Bianca and the Hyundai Kona

8. What is your favourite music to listen to in the car?

It depends on the car but I prefer the rock genre until a car makes me shut down the music because I want to listen its engine instead! (As it happened with the Z4, for example).

9. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start a successful blog?

Don't do it for the money but for the journey.

10. What's next for Arctic Swan?

I'm planning a series of special projects around my drive tests, some of them in partnership with other car bloggers. I also plan to participate at more car events.

Bianca and the BMW Z4
Bianca and the BMW Z4

Thanks to Bianca for taking part in this interview! You can follow her across social media:





Everything you need to know about PCP finance

Five Things To Consider Before Signing A PCP Contract

Everything you need to know about PCP finance
Everything you need to know about PCP finance

With the 192 registration period fast approaching on the 1st July, many of you will be exploring your options when it comes to financing a new car. We've teamed up with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to find out more about PCP finance and what to consider before signing a PCP contract.

PCP finance has become one of the most popular forms of car finance with approximately one-third of new cars bought using this type of finance. PCP finance is also increasingly used to finance second hand cars. PCPs usually involve low monthly repayments and a relatively quick approval process on the garage forecourt.

Research published in the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s (CCPC) PCP report, showed that these products are complex and consumers can find it difficult to understand how they work, particularly at the end of an agreement. In the run up to the sale of new ‘192’ registered cars, the CCPC is running an information campaign to help consumers understand PCPs so that they can make informed decisions on what is best for their circumstances.

Áine Carroll, Director of Communications and Policy in the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said: “PCPs are significant long-term financial commitments. The complexity of PCP products, coupled with the value of these agreements, means that it is extremely important that consumers understand what they are signing up to. This can only happen when consumers understand how the product works.”

Five things to think about before signing a PCP contract

1. PCP finance is not like other types of car finance

A large part of the cost is deferred until the end of the agreement. This means that monthly repayments are lower than they would be using a traditional loan or hire purchase. If you are considering PCP finance, it is important that you do not focus entirely on the affordability of the monthly repayments but consider the full price of the car (including running costs) and what you intend to do at the end of your agreement.

2. Consider at the start what you want to do at the end

The complicating feature of PCPs is that, at the end of the agreement, you have three options: to pay the Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (the lump sum at the end), hand back the keys or start a new PCP agreement for another car. Your intention at the end of the contract is extremely important. For example, if you intend on buying the car outright at the end, you may need to save up the lump sum. Or if you intend on trading in the car, you will need to keep within certain mileage limits and ensure the car is maintained to agreed standards – and adhering to these requirements is also important if you plan on starting another PCP at the end of the agreement. It is important to know that you may not be able to end your contract early should your circumstances change.

3. Remember you do not own the car until the last payment

Unlike paying for a car with a loan from a bank or a credit union where you own the car straight away, with PCPs you do not own the car unless you pay the lump sum at the end of the agreement. This has practical implications such as, you cannot sell the car without the permission of the finance company.

4. If you want to roll your contract into a new one

At the end of a PCP, if you intend in trading in your car for a newer model you will need to pay a deposit for your new car. There may be equity in your current car, if at the end of the term the Guaranteed Minimum Future Value is lower than the market value of the car. This equity can be used as a deposit for the new car. Factors such as the condition of the car or changes in the second-hand car market can impact on the market value and so you should not take equity in the car as guaranteed to cover the deposit for a new car.

5. A PCP can affect your credit rating

Like any loan, your PCP finance will appear on your credit history. This means that if you apply for a mortgage or any other type of credit, the value of the full PCP will be taken into account when lenders are assessing a credit application. And like any credit agreement, if you miss payments on your PCP, that will be recorded on your credit history which may impact on your ability to borrow in the future.

Thanks to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) for providing the content of this article. For more information before signing up for a PCP contract, click here.

192 offers and car deals for Ireland

192 Offers And Car Deals For Ireland


192 offers and car deals for Ireland
Thinking about buying a new car this summer? You will want to get the best 192 offer

On July 1st 2019 we enter the new 192 registration period, and there are a number of 192 offers and car deals buyers can avail of from manufacturers. We’ve put together a list of 192 offers available and this list will be updated as more manufacturers release their offers. For more information visit the manufacturer’s website or your local dealer.


192 offers include special Audi service plans from €15.99 per month as well as a complementary €250 Audi genuine accessories offer. APR rates from 2.9% on Audi Q5 and 3.9% on Audi A6. Offers available on vehicles registered before 31stAugust.


0% APR across C3, C4 Cactus and C4 Spacetourer. 3.9% APR across C1, C3 Aircross, Berlingo, C5 Aircross and Spacetourer. 


Dacia is offering customers 0 deposit and 4.9% APR across the range including the Duster SUV, Sandero, Sandero Stepway SUV and Logan MCV.


Deals on offer include reductions on some of Ford’s most popular models including the Ka+, Fiesta, EcoSport, Focus and Kuga. There's also 7 years warranty on offer, 7 years roadside assistance, 1 year free road tax, 3.9 percent APR and upgrade packs for selected models that include a range of extras at reduced prices.


Honda has launched their ‘High Five’ campaign. For a limited time the Honda Civic Diesel will be available with a choice of 5 offers: 3.9% APR PCP Finance Available OR €3,000 Guaranteed Minimum Trade – In Value OR Upgrade to 9 speed automatic OR Complimentary Platinum Service Plan and 1 years Free Road Tax OR €1,000 Deposit Contribution.


5 Years Unlimited Manufacturer’s Warranty, 5 Years Free Health Check and 5 Years AA Roadside Assistance across the range. 3.9% APR finance on i10, i20, i30 Hatchback, i30 Fastback, i30 Tourer, ix20, Tucson, Kona, Santa Fe, and i40 if you book and register by 29th June 2019. Or five years of free servicing. Or avail of scrappage bonus of up to €5,000.


To celebrate Jaguar's wins at the 2019 World Car Awards with the new I-PACE, customers can enjoy a €3,000 discount across the Jaguar range. Each model also comes with 3-year warranty, 3-year roadside assistance and a free 3-year service plan. Discount available until 31st August 2019.


0% APR on HP for 192 Niro Plug-In Hybrid, Sportage and Stonic models ordered before 30th August.


Get up to €5,500 scrappage on your old car when you buy a 192 Nissan. Scrappage available on all models (excluding LEAF). 0% APR on new Nissan Micra. 3.9% APR on other models on PCP Finance.


Customers who register their new 192 car before 31st July can avail of finance from 3.9%, plus either scrappage up to €4,000, or a deposit contribution of up to €750 on younger trade ins. All cars come with a five-year extended warranty.


0% APR and 0 deposit across the model range including the Clio, Captur, Kadjar, Megane, Koleos, Scenic and Grand Scenic. All cars come with 5 years’ warranty and 5 years’ roadside assistance as standard. On the Renault ZOE Z.E. 40, customers can avail of 0% APR HP. These offers are available on all new car registrations from now until 31st July.


Until July 31st, there's 0% PCP finance on selected SEAT models. Monthly repayments on SEAT’s SUV range start from €219 for the Arona, from €289 on the Ateca and from €349 on the new Tarraco, which includes a 3-year service plan. Monthly repayments on the SEAT Ibiza and SEAT Leon start from €189 and €239. There are also trade-in bonuses of €1,000 on the Arona, €2,000 on the Ibiza, Ateca and Tarraco and €3,000 on the Leon.


Trade-in boosters of up to €3,000, and APRs from 2.9% on passenger cars as part of Toyota's 192 offers. 3 years servicing as standard. Toyota's New Generation promotion runs from 5th – 8th June in dealerships with the full range of new generation self-charging hybrid and petrol models available for test drive.


PCP finance from 0% APR. Purchase contributions of up to €2500. Service plan packs, R-Line model upgrades and technology upgrades also available. Finance offer only available on new retail sales ordered before June 30th.


Motor tax rates for private cars registered in Ireland

Irish Motor Tax Rates

Motor tax rates for private cars registered in Ireland
Motor tax rates for private cars registered in Ireland

In Ireland, motor tax for privately owned cars is calculated in two different ways, depending on the age of your vehicle. Please scroll down to view our simple list of Irish motor tax rates.

If your car was registered before July 2008, the motor tax rate is calculated based on the engine capacity.

If your car was registered on or after 1st July 2008, the motor tax rate is calculated based on the CO2 emissions of the vehicle.

Irish Motor Tax Rates - CO2 Emissions

Band CO2 Emissions Annual Rate
A0 0 €120
A1 1-80g €170
A2 81-100g €180
A3 101-110g €190
A4 111-120g €200
B1 121-130g €270
B2 131-140g €280
C 141-155g €390
D 156-170g €570
E 171-190g €750
F 191-225g €1200
G More than 225g €2350

Irish Motor Tax Rates - Engine Size

Engine Capacity (CC) Annual Rate
Not over
1,001 to
1,101 to
1,201 to
1,301 to
1,401 to
1,501 to
1,601 to
1,701 to
1,801 to
1,901 to
2,001 to
2,101 to
2,201 to
2,301 to
2,401 to
2,501 to
2,601 to
2,701 to
2,801 to
2,901 to
3,001 or
Electric €120

For more information on taxing a vehicle in Ireland visit Citizens Information and Motor Tax Online.

Niall Conneely and his SEAT Ibiza

Me And My Car: Niall Conneely's SEAT Ibiza

Niall Conneely and his SEAT Ibiza
Niall Conneely and his SEAT Ibiza

We recently spoke to Niall Conneely about his SEAT Ibiza. Niall is a driving instructor and his Ibiza is also used by his driving school, TNC School of Motoring.

1.Tell us about your car.

I have the SEAT Ibiza SE with the 1.6 TDI engine making a surprisingly adequate 80 bhp. It’s a nice shade of grey and is specced quite well. The tech in this car is very impressive with economy aids, collision sensors, Bluetooth connectivity and a little nagging symbol that tells me if I stray too close to the car in front on the motorway.

2. Why did you choose this car?

I think Volkswagen Group make some great cars and I specifically wanted their 1.6 TDI as it is well proven as a good little powerplant. I needed my new car to be well built, comfortable, economical, easy on the eye and easy to see out of. I considered the Volkswagen Polo and the Skoda Fabia as well, but for me the Ibiza outshines both. It helps that it is awfully pretty. It’s as if someone on the design team had a heap of ideas for angles and nice creases and stylish lines and rather than choose one, instead threw the whole lot at it. It works though, particularly the rear three quarters. To my eye at least, it is aesthetically pleasing.

3. What do you like about this car?

It’s a good all-rounder. Spacious but not too big. Enough power to make progress while also being light on fuel. The ride comfort is impressive for a supermini. The infotainment system is pretty good. I’m a relatively recent convert to Spotify so the wireless connectivity is a nice boost. The ergonomics are spot on, the controls are exactly where you’d expect them to be and everything falls to hand easily.

I’m super fussy about having high quality items. For me things like a good leather belt or a decent wristwatch are important. I prefer to get one quality product that will last for a long time rather than something cheaper that I’ll have to replace multiple times, and I have to say cabin materials in the Ibiza feel like they are built to last.

4. Is there anything you would change about this car?

I’m very much up for a greener future and saving the polar bears but sometimes I’d like to have stop/start as a setting to be sought out, rather than foisted upon you every time you start the car. And I know I’ve been singing the praises of the Ibiza’s styling but it is an ordeal to clean it. I tackled it with the bucket and sponge last week and to be honest you would need 4 hours and a variety of brushes and utensils to really clean those alloys.

Niall uses the Ibiza in his driving school
Niall uses the Ibiza in his driving school, TNC School of Motoring

5. What is in the glovebox?

Well between the glovebox and my box of useful stuff in the boot I am equipped for a zombie apocalypse. Pens, chewing gum, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, socket set, a Mars Bar, receipts, a rather fetching high vis vest and enough spare bulbs to light up the Three Arena.

6. Favourite memory of the car?

I have had it for just over 4 weeks so we’re still in the honeymoon phase, but now that the Ibiza has had dual controls and the driving school graphics fitted, it is in for some hard work. I reckon the memorable moments are yet to come for this car. I have no doubt it will perform brilliantly.

7. Three words to describe your car.

Ready for road.

If you would like your car featured on Changing Lanes, email!

Women Who Influenced Automotive

Leyre Olavarría, Lluïsa Tomás, Maite Paris and Teresa Salinas of SEAT
Leyre Olavarría, Lluïsa Tomás, Maite Paris and Teresa Salinas of SEAT

Thanks to SEAT Ireland for providing this feature.

Here are five women who revolutionised the world of driving.

1. June McCarroll, drawing the line (1867-1954)

One day in 1917, McCarroll, a doctor by profession, was driving to her office in California when a lorry forced her off the road. That was when she sensed that a dividing line in the middle of the pavement would have prevented the accident. Her idea fell on deaf ears in the case of the local authorities, but this did not stop McCarroll. She went out and hand painted a line in one section of the road, and together with a women’s association, promoted a campaign to extend this initiative. As a result, the California authorities implemented the idea in law and painted a dividing line on 5,600 km of roads. Today, this system is mandatory practically everywhere in the world.

“We currently have systems than help drivers stay inside their lane, like lane assist, and warn them in the event of involuntary lane departures. It operates with a camera located behind the rear view mirror that detects lane markings and the vehicle’s position. If the car deviates from its path, the assistant sends a warning. This systems is set to activate once 65 km/h is reached”, says Lluïsa Tomás, an engineer in the SEAT Chassis department.

2. Florence Lawrence, the first movie star (1886-1938)

A tombstone in the Hollywood cemetery has an inscription that reads “The first movie star”. It belongs to Florence Lawrence, one of Hollywood’s most famous actresses at the turn of the century and the star of close to 300 films. But Lawrence had other passions beyond her film career, and the one that stood out above the rest was motoring. An avid car enthusiast, Lawrence collected all kinds of models. Not only did she drive them, but she also repaired and enhanced them. Her creative skills led her to design a moving paddle to indicate whether the car was going to turn, as well as a STOP sign that was visible at the rear when the driver stepped on the brake. Both of her inventions were the predecessors of the modern day turn signals and brake light. Although she never patented these systems, her contribution was decisive for the future of the industry.

“These signalling systems are an essential driving safety feature, as they prevent numerous accidents, especially rear end collisions. Today we have LED lighting and signalling systems with a much lower activation time, and in the case of the turn signals, they enable the introduction of dynamism to the area, making their function more visible. In addition to being a fundamental part of a car’s design, the benefit of LED fixtures is that they last longer and consume less”, explains Maite Paris, who is responsible for Front Illumination Development at SEAT.

3. Mary Anderson, a rainy day inventor (1866-1953)

On a blustery winter day in 1902, Alabama rancher and wine grower Mary Anderson was visiting the Big Apple with her daughters. During a taxi ride in the heavy rain, Mary noticed that the driver had to stop repeatedly to remove the sleet and mud from the windows. That’s when she came up with the idea for windscreen wipers. Back home in Alabama, she worked with a designer to invent a device operated by hand from inside the vehicle. She patented her invention but never found a buyer for it. After the term had expired, windscreen wipers were installed as standard in most models.

“The safety systems of a car in the event of adverse weather conditions have prevented a multitude of accidents, but now we can push the envelope even further. Thanks to applications and new mobility services, connected vehicles enable us to plan routes, adapt them in real time according to factors such as the weather and recommend the best transportation option to reach our destination” explains Leyre Olavarría, who is responsible for Infotainment and Connected Car at SEAT.

Women have influenced many automotive innovations including the rear view mirror!
Women have influenced many automotive innovations including the rear view mirror!

4. Dorothy Levitt, the Fastest Girl on Earth (1882-1922)

Journalist, author, activist in the cause of women and…racing driver of anything mechanical able to reach high speeds, either on water or land. Briton Dorothy Levitt made history by setting several speed records, like the one she obtained in 1905 by racing her roadster at 146 km/h. Her driving skills led her to make a career in automobiles, and she reportedly taught Queen Alexandra how to drive. In her 1909 book “The woman and the car”, one of her tips for women drivers was to carry a hand mirror to hold up occasionally to see what was behind. With this, Levitt pioneered a key innovation for driving safety, the rear view mirror, which manufacturers adopted several years later as a standard element in every model.

“The present and the future lie in assistants that help drivers and give them a full view. For example, the rear mounted camera for easy parking manoeuvres or the system that detects blind spots in the door mirror. Dorothy Levitt’s rear view mirror idea, which she came up with to better see the traffic behind her, now features additional functions that include sensors that adapt to exterior light for enhanced vision, driver information and cameras. And we are adding more functions with technological solutions that will soon be market ready on our new models. There’s no stopping innovation”, points out Teresa Salinas, who is responsible for headliner systems and interior mirrors at SEAT.

5. Elvira Beloso at SEAT, the woman who saved the past

Her name is not referenced in newspapers or periodicals, but she was a key figure in preserving SEAT’s legacy. Long-time press pool head Elvira Beloso began putting aside, one by one, the models she thought were important to illustrate the history of the company: several first and last units, special editions, vehicles to chauffeur authorities or to commemorate events. Elvira set those units aside in secluded corners of the Zona Franca factory in Barcelona so that their value as a historic legacy would be recognised in the future. That day has arrived and SEAT now has a collection of 317 vintage cars, in great part made possible by Elvira and her determination to safeguard the past.

Bertha Benz: The Journey That Changed Everything

Mercedes-Benz has released a video to celebrate Bertha Benz in the history of the brand and the motor car
Mercedes-Benz has released a video to celebrate Bertha Benz in the history of the brand and the motor car

On the eve of this year's International Woman's Day (8th March 2019), Mercedes-Benz has released a video to celebrate Bertha Benz in the history of the brand and the motor car. Bertha Benz famously took the difficult, first long distance drive in a motor car, her husband Carl's invention, travelling over 100 km with a journey time of 12 hours! The year was 1888.

Thanks to Mercedes-Benz for telling the story so eloquently below.

The Mercedes star is now shone on the woman without whom the company would perhaps never have existed in this form: Bertha Benz. To mark her 170th birthday on 3 May, Mercedes-Benz relates Bertha's historic long-distance journey in cinema quality, encouraging men and women throughout the world to make their visions come true with courage and self-confidence.

The film "Bertha Benz: the journey that changed everything" is dedicated as an inspiration to all women and men on International Women's Day on March 8.

"It was important to my team to depict Bertha Benz as a strong woman and timeless role model" explained Bettina Fetzer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Bertha was a pioneer and our first test driver. Her courage and her will not to give up too easily inspire me very much. With our film we want to motivate people to go through life with a similarly positive, hands-on approach and to tackle challenges with confidence."

Bertha Benz drew public attention to the invention of her husband Carl by undertaking the first long-distance car journey to Pforzheim covering nearly 100 kilometres over 130 years ago. But her courageous act is more topical than ever, as visions, determination and belief in oneself still remain important success factors in today's mobile world. Which makes Bertha Benz the best role model for present day pioneers in all areas of life.

"She was more daring than I," Carl Benz said about his wife. As the inventor of the automobile, he revolutionised the mobility of the 19th Century. This success that changed the world would have been barely conceivable without Bertha Benz, her indomitable optimism and her ability to find a way out of difficult situations.

When the public were still sceptical about the new horseless carriage that was moved by "mysterious" forces, she took a snap decision and embarked on a then rather difficult journey to Pforzheim with her two sons Eugen and Richard. Also on board was a firm belief in her husband's invention and in herself.

Mercedes-Benz has released a video to celebrate Bertha Benz in the history of the brand and the motor car
Bertha Benz took the difficult, first long distance journey in the motor car in 1888, earning a place in history

This story is emotively recounted by Mercedes-Benz in a four-minute film, "Bertha Benz: the journey that changed everything" – in which the legendary first filling station in the world also plays a part.

We have teamed up with FBD Insurance to bring you some information on what to do if you are involved in a car accident

What To Do If You Are Involved In A Car Accident

We have teamed up with FBD Insurance to bring you some information on what to do if you are involved in a car accident
We have teamed up with FBD Insurance to bring you some information on what to do if you are involved in a car accident

There’s no denying it, car accidents are frightening and when they happen they can often leave you feeling flustered and unable to think straight. While nobody wants to think about it, knowing what to do in the event of a car accident can help you cope better. FBD have created a handy checklist of general tips to help you to get through the experience.

First of all…..

  • Stop the car as soon as possible – it is a criminal offence not to do so. If your car is still in motion, pull over as soon as you can, turn off the engine and switch the hazard lights on.
  • Make sure you and any passengers are safe. Check if anyone is hurt and call 999 if necessary.
  • Take a few deep breaths and stay calm as much as possible.
  • Don’t apologise, admit fault or even discuss the accident at the scene. Notify your car insurance provider immediately.

Record some important details….

  • Make a note of all injuries and damage, draw a sketch map of the scene and take photos if you can.
  • Get the registration and insurance company name and policy number of all the other vehicles. This should be on the insurance disc on the windscreen.
  • Exchange names and addresses with the other drivers, passengers and witnesses.
  • Take any reasonable emergency steps to avoid further loss, like moving the vehicles safely off the road, once you've recorded the details of the scene.
what to do if your car breaks down
Take whatever precautions are needed to keep the scene as safe as possible

 What’s next?

  • Notify the authorities immediately (and no more than 24 hours later) if any person or animal is injured or if your car is stolen or damaged on purpose.
  • If you are FBD Insurance customer, send any correspondence or notice of prosecutions you get unanswered. If you are not FBD Car Insurance customer, contact your insurer for more information.
  • Only go ahead with permanent repairs or get rid of any parts with your insurer’s agreement. If you don't, your claim may not be covered.

Make sure you’re prepared for any accidents or mishaps with a car insurance quote from FBD Insurance.

Disclosure: This article has been provided by FBD Insurance and is paid for content.

There are a few important steps to take if you are involved in an accident
There are a few important steps to take if you are involved in an accident


The 10 Bestselling Cars In Ireland In 2018

While the new car market in Ireland shrunk by 4.4% in 2018 compared to 2017, 125,557 new cars were still registered in 2018.

Which cars captured Irish hearts in 2018? Take a look at my countdown here:

10. Toyota C-HR

2,505 registrations

A new entry into the top ten bestselling cars in Ireland in 2018. The Toyota C-HR is available with a 1.2-litre petrol engine or as a hybrid and was one of the brand's most exciting new releases in recent years. Here's my review from 2017 of the Toyota C-HR 1.2 petrol, soon after it first launched here.

Toyota C-HR review ireland
The Toyota C-HR

9. Ford Fiesta

2,724 registrations

The Ford Fiesta is a perennial Irish favourite and an all-new model arrived in Ireland towards the end of 2017. Here's my review of the feisty 1.0-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta from 2018.

Ford Fiesta review ireland
The Ford Fiesta

8. Toyota Yaris

2,855 registrations

No change in position for the Yaris. It finishes again in 8th place in the top ten bestselling cars of 2018. In 2017 Toyota launched a revised Yaris range and I managed to get my hands on a Toyota Yaris Hybrid for review. The Yaris is a straightforward supermini with a lot of fans.

2017 Toyota Yaris review ireland
The Toyota Yaris

7. Kia Sportage

2,875 registrations

The Kia Sportage finishes 2018 in joint place with the Tiguan. It is one of the most visible SUVs on our roads and has become a firm Irish favourite. The Sportage received an update for the 2019 model year. Here's my latest review of the Kia Sportage.

The 2019 Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage

6. Volkswagen Tiguan

2,875 registrations

The Volkswagen Tiguan moved up the sales chart in 2018 becoming one of Ireland's most popular SUVs. Here's my review of the 2.0-litre TDI Volkswagen Tiguan from 2017.

Volkswagen Tiguan Ireland review
The Volkswagen Tiguan

5. SKODA Octavia

3,357 registrations

The SKODA Octavia received a small refresh in 2017 and its value offering keeps it consistently one of Ireland's bestselling cars. Here's my review of the 2.0-litre TDI SKODA Octavia from 2017.

Skoda Octavia
The Skoda Octavia

4. Volkswagen Golf

3,760 registrations

The Volkswagen Golf received a refresh in 2017 and has continued to sell well in 2018. There's a new Mark 8 on the horizon, which we should see before the end of the year. In 2017, I reviewed the exceptionally good Volkswagen Golf 1.0-litre TSI.

2017 Volkswagen Golf review ireland
The Volkswagen Golf

3. Ford Focus

3,777 registrations

An all-new Ford Focus arrived in Ireland in summer 2018, helping the Focus to secure a third place finish in Ireland's top ten bestselling cars of the year. Here's my review of the new Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost.

The new Ford Focus
The new Ford Focus

2. Nissan Qashqai

4,004 registrations

The Nissan Qashqai tussled with the Hyundai Tucson all year for the title of Ireland's bestselling car. It finished second but it doesn't matter - Irish buyers just love the Qashqai and a sparkling 1.2-litre petrol engine helped keep the Qashqai popular in 2018 as petrol cars began to gain popularity again. The Qashqai received an update in late 2017. Here's my review of the Nissan Qashqai 1.2 petrol.

Nissan Qashqai
The Nissan Qashqai

1. Hyundai Tucson

4,026 registrations

The Hyundai Tucson reigns supreme for another year. As we enter 2019, updated versions of the Tucson are in dealers now.

The Hyundai Tucson
The Hyundai Tucson is still Ireland's bestselling car, outselling the Ford Focus and Nissan Qashqai

The new Audi e-tron will be a high profile arrival in Ireland in 2019

New Cars Coming In 2019

The new Audi e-tron will be a high profile arrival in Ireland in 2019
The new Audi e-tron will be a high profile arrival in Ireland in 2019

To help you with your new car purchase in 2019, we've put together a list of new cars that have arrived in Ireland just in time for the 191 registration in January and those that are on the way in 2019.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo has just welcomed the new Stelvio Quadrifoglio to Ireland. The 510hp high performance SUV uses the same 2.9-litre V6 Bi-Turbo petrol engine as the Giulia Quadrifoglio and is available from €118,795. There's also a new B-Tech trim (from €29,845) for the Giulietta hatchback slotting in above the Sport and Super trims with extra features including black exterior detailing.


The new Audi A6 and Q3 are fresh in dealerships this December. A new Audi A1 is expected to arrive in January. The new Audi e-tron SUV, Audi’s first fully electric model will be available to order from January with the first deliveries scheduled to take place in the spring. The 95kWh high voltage battery gives the e-tron the ability to cover 400 kilometres on one charge. Pricing for the e-tron, including a four-year service plan, starts from an on-the-road cost of €101,750. Audi Ireland will also unveil a limited-edition Audi Q5 in 2019. With a 2.0TDI 163 hp engine, it has more power than the standard Q5, quattro all wheel drive and S-tronic gearbox. It's priced from €52,950 OTR and is available to order now.


The new BMW X5 and 8 Series Coupe are in dealerships this December, with the 8 Series Convertible pencilled in for Q2 2019. In March, the new BMW 3 Series will arrive priced from €43,770 for the 318d SE model, and is available to order now. The new BMW Z4 is also expected in March, priced from €50,420 for the Z4 sDrive 20i Sport. The BMW i3 and i3s have new lithium-ion batteries so the range of both models has increased by almost 30 per cent to a maximum 260 kilometres.

The new BMW 3-Series will arrive in Ireland in March
The new BMW 3-Series will arrive in Ireland in March


Stuttgart-based Borgward have partnered with IM Group to import cars to Ireland in 2019. The brand currently manufactures a range of premium SUVs. The brand's intention is to sell electric vehicles once production starts on the BXi5 and BXi7 all-electric SUVs. Production of right-hand drive variants is expected to start in early 2019 in anticipation of an Irish launch towards the end of 2019. Price, specification and line-up for Ireland will be announced closer to the time.


The new Citroën C5 Aircross is the brand's new C-segment SUV challenger and is expected to arrive in Ireland in March with petrol and diesel engines. A plug-in hybrid version is expected by the end of 2019. A new Citroën Berlingo will go on sale early in 2019 also.


The Cupra Ateca is the first model from SEAT's new performance brand. The high performance SUV will arrive in Ireland in January priced from €49,990.

The CUPRA Ateca is coming to Ireland!
The CUPRA Ateca is a high performance SUV from SEAT's new spin-off


The new Dacia Duster is in showrooms now priced from €17,390. The Sandero and the Logan MCV have both been updated with new WLTP-compliant engines.


DS will launch two new SUVs. A new DS3 Crossback and new DS7 Crossback are expected to arrive in Ireland in 2019.


The Fiat 500X has been updated inside and out with new looks, technology and new turbo petrol engines for 2019. It goes on sale in Ireland priced from €21,795 and is available from January.


Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary film starring Steve McQueen, the new Ford Mustang Bullitt special edition arrives just in time for the 191 registration priced from €73,000. It features Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 engine enhanced to deliver 464 PS and 529 Nm of torque and is offered with a choice of Shadow Black or classic Dark Highland Green. In February, the Mondeo HEV Estate arrives following last year's launch of the saloon hybrid. The Ford Focus Active will also arrive in Q1 of 2019 sporting a more robust, off-road appearance and raised ride height. It will be offered with the same 1.5-litre diesel and 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engines as the rest of the Focus range. The Ford Ranger Raptor will arrive in Ireland in March and is modeled on the US version of the F-150 Raptor. While not as extreme, it will use a bi-turbo version of Ford's TCDI diesel engine, with 213hp and 500Nm of torque. In 2019 we will also see the launch of a new Mustang-inspired, fully-electric performance car with targeted range of 300 miles. But this car won't arrive in Ireland until 2020.

The new Ford Focus Active crossover
The new Ford Focus Active crossover


In February a new CR-V Hybrid will join the CR-V 1.5-litre petrol that went on sale in the autumn. The new CR-V Hybrid will be priced from €38,000 including Government grants and VRT rebate. Honda's Urban EV electric city car concept is also to go into production in 2019 but we don't have any details yet if this model will reach Ireland.


The new Hyundai Kona Electric is available now priced from €36,995 with a range of up to 449km. There are also refreshed models of the i20 and Tucson available for the new 191 registration.


The new all-electric Jaguar I-PACE has an electric range of up to 480km and is priced from €81,585. We expect to see a facelifted Jaguar XE arrive in 2019.


There is an updated Renegade on the way in 2019 with a refreshed interior and exterior styling as well as new 1.0-litre and 1.3-litre petrol engines. A new Jeep Wrangler will arrive in 2019 also.


The new Proceed goes on sale in January 2019 with a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine. The new Kia Niro EV and Soul EV will be launched in June 2019 for 192 sales.

The new Kia Proceed will arrive in the spring of 2019
The new Kia Proceed will arrive in January

Land Rover

A new Range Rover Evoque will arrive in Ireland in late Q2 in time for 192 registrations.


The new ES 300h arrives in January from €49,450. There's also a new RC 300H priced from €56,950. The new Lexus UX 200h compact crossover will arrive in Ireland in March priced from €39,500.


A new generation of the Mazda3 is expected to arrive in Ireland in April. It will be offered as both a hatchback and saloon. Engines will include a 2.0-litre petrol, 1.8-litre diesel and a new petrol Skyactiv-X engine that Mazda claim delivers the fuel efficiency and torque of a diesel as well as significantly reduced CO2 emissions. An updated Mazda CX-5 will also arrive early in 2019. Later in the year there's a limited edition Mazda MX-5 with 184hp to celebrate the car's 30th anniversary.

There's a new generation of the Mazda3 expected in 2019
There's a new generation of the Mazda3 expected in 2019


In 2019 Mercedes-Benz is expecting eight new models and seven facelifted models. January will kick off with the facelifted C-Class saloon, estate, coupe and cabriolet. The new A-Class Saloon and B-Class will arrive before the end of March. Between April and June, a new CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLE with a 7-seat option will arrive. There will also be a facelifted V-Class and the arrival of the electric-powered EQC. The summer will see the arrival of a new GLS as well as a facelifted GLC Coupé and SUV models. Towards the end of the year we will see the new mid-size SUV called the GLB, which will also include a seven seat option.


In late 2019 we will see the arrival of the MINI Electric. There are now three new trims for MINI in Ireland to simplify the ordering process - Classic, Sport and Exclusive - with more standard specification.


A new Outlander PHEV has just arrived for 191 sales. There is also a new Outlander Black Line trim including sunroof, new black alloys and other styling elements. Prices start from €41,100. A new L200 will arrive in September 2019. Specifications, engines and pricing for Ireland will be announced mid-2019.


For 2019 there will be a new 1.3-litre and 1.7-litre petrol engine for the Qashqai, a new 1.0-litre petrol engine for the Micra and a new 60kWh battery version of the Leaf for a longer range. A new Nissan Juke is expected in the middle of the year also.


The Opel Corsa GSi is available to order for 191 and is priced from €24,895. A Grandland X plug-in hybrid will launch in mid-2019. The next generation Vivaro will be produced in both commercial and passenger car variants and will launch in the summer. An all-new Corsa will launch in late 2019 and will be available as a five door only. An electric version will follow in 2020.


The new Peugeot Rifter, a replacement for the Partner Tepee MPV, is arriving now for 191 registrations. It will be available in two lengths with 5 or 7 seats. In the spring the new Peugeot 508 saloon will arrive, with a 508 SW (estate) arriving in Q2. Petrol and diesel engines will be available with a plug-in hybrid arriving later.

The new Peugeot 508
The new Peugeot 508 will arrive in Ireland in spring 2019


All models in the Renault Zoe range now get the Z.E. 40 long-range battery. Prices start at €24,990 for the Expression R90, with R-Link navigation and heat pump climate control as standard. Dynamique and Signature versions now feature a new R110 motor for faster acceleration. The Clio gets a new 0.9-litre TCe engine for 2019 with 75 or 90hp. The Renault Captur, facelifted in 2018, gets a new line-up of trim levels - Play, Iconic and GT Line - with 0.9 TCe 90 and 1.5 dCi 90 engines available. For 2019, the Renault Mégane’s 1.5 dCi diesel engine is upgraded to 115hp and Renault has also introduced a new 1.3 TCe 140hp petrol engine. These new engines are available across the Mégane range. Both the Kadjar and Scénic ranges will also feature the new 1.3 TCe petrol engine. Diesel versions of the Kadjar will feature the upgraded 1.5 dCi 115 engine, while the Scénic will feature a brand new 1.7 dCi engine. Updated versions of the Koleos SUV will be announced in early 2019.


The big news at SEAT is the arrival of the new Tarraco in February 2019. It will be available as a five or seven seat SUV with petrol and diesel engines available.


The Kodiaq RS arrives in Ireland just in time for the 191 registration. The new performance SUV goes on sale priced from €62,295. The new ŠKODA Scala will replace the Rapid when it arrives in June.  It will come with a range of petrol TSI engines (95hp to 150hp) and also a 1.6TDI 115hp version. The Superb will get a facelift in late 2019 and there will be the option of a plug-in hybrid for the first time. There is also a small crossover expected to arrive in October that will also be available as a plug-in hybrid.

The new ŠKODA Kodiaq RS
The new ŠKODA Kodiaq RS has arrived in Ireland in time for January registrations


There's a new Korando on the way in 2019 with an electric version planned also.


No new models have been confirmed at this time.


A facelifted Vitara will arrive in Ireland in February. It will have the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine from the S Cross and a 1.4 turbo petrol engine.


Right hand drive production of the Tesla Model 3 is expected to begin in 2019 so watch this space.


Toyota is launching a new generation of hybrids in 2019. The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Corolla Hatchback Hybrid are arriving in January. The new Corolla Saloon and Touring Sports will arrive in February. The Camry Hybrid is pencilled in for an April arrival. A facelifted Prius will also arrive in February.

Toyota Camry Returning To Ireland In 2019
The Toyota Camry will return to Ireland in 2019 after 14 years


This month a new Volkswagen e-Golf Executive Edition arrives in showrooms. This model aims to appeal to a more business-minded customer and has leather upholstery, sports comfort seats, 17” ‘Madrid’ alloy wheels, LED rear lights, keyless access, heated front seats, a rear view camera and Active Info Display. The Executive Edition costs €39,495 after grants. In April, the Volkswagen T-Cross will arrive. It's the smallest SUV in the Volkswagen range, slotting in below the T-ROC. There will be a choice of two petrol engines initially, both 1.0-litre TSI units putting out either 95hp or 115hp. There will most likely be a 1.6-litre TDI 95hp available too. Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but we expect it to come in at a price not too far from an entry-level Golf. A generation of the Volkswagen Golf is expected to be announced before the end of 2019, but in the meantime expect to see small numbers of a GTI TCR (TCR stands for Touring Car Racing) here early in 2019. The car will feature around 290hp. No word on price yet but expect it to cost about €48,000. A facelifted Passat will arrive in June.


A new S60 saloon will arrive in April with a T5 petrol powertrain. The T4 petrol, T8 Twin Engine Hybrid and T6 Twin Engine hybrid will all follow for 192. Pricing is yet to be announced. A revised XC90 will arrive in the summer with the D5 engine and T8 Twin engine. The T6 Twin engine plug-in hybrid powertrain will be rolled out on S60, V60 and V90 in 2019 also. Towards the end of 2019 we will see an XC40 with a T5t engine.

The new Volvo S60
The new Volvo S60 is coming to Ireland in April