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

Rear View Prints sells a selection of cool and stylish car art prints

Unique Christmas Gifts From Rear View Prints

Rear View Prints sells a selection of cool and stylish car art prints
Rear View Prints sells a selection of cool and stylish car art prints

If you are looking for some of the best car art on the Internet for unique Christmas gifts, Rear View Prints is a great place to start. The company specialises in showcasing art and merchandise from the motorsport culture niche and aims to be the most definitive and diverse source for car art in the world.

"At the intersection of car and art culture is where Rear View Prints was born. Founded by car enthusiasts and driven by artistic quality, you won’t find a better selection of automotive themed prints, posters and art online."

Their site is packed full of unique and stylish car prints, posters and apparel. Rear View Print's products are divided up into easy to browse 'collections' with everything from iconic and classic cars, to F1 race tracks and car generations.

The car prints are particularly special, giving an artistic bent to some well-known models and making a stylish and personal addition to any home or office.

Car Generations: The BMW M5 from Rear View Prints
Car Generations: The BMW M5 evolution from Rear View Prints

Car Generations from Rear View Prints

Rear View Prints has a brand new print range for Christmas 2018 and it's called Car Generations. These prints - available in size A2, A3, and A4 - give a stunning graphic evolution of some of the world's most popular and legendary performance cars including the Ford Mustang, BMW M5, Porsche 911, Ford Focus RS, Nissan Skyline and Honda Civic Type R. Prices range from about €20 to €118.

Rear View Prints stock gallery-quality premium prints that are made of 230 g/m² art paper with a matte finish. They are printed digitally natively in the UK using archival inks with high colour brilliance.

Where do they ship to?

Good news: Rear View Prints ship all around the world. For the UK, the company offers 100% free shipping. For Ireland, Europe, USA and rest of world, there is free shipping on prints. If you spend over £130, there is free shipping on all products to all parts of the world.

Processing times vary depending on the type of order but at busy times like at Christmas, Rear View Prints advise that you allow up to 10 days to receive your order. If you are in a hurry, there is an express service with a fee at checkout.

If you want to give a unique and personal gift this Christmas to show your car enthusiast you care, then I cannot think of a cooler present than a car print from Rear View Prints. Equally if you just want to go on an online shopping binge for yourself, then that's okay too - I'm sure you will find the perfect 'me' gift on Rear View Prints!

Rear View Prints ship all around the world
Rear View Prints ship all around the world
Disclosure: This is paid for content.

The new Ford Focus is the first Ford vehicle in Ireland to feature FordPass Connect

What Is FordPass Connect?

The new Ford Focus is the first Ford vehicle in Ireland to feature FordPass Connect
The new Ford Focus is the first Ford vehicle in Ireland to feature FordPass Connect

FordPass Connect is onboard modem technology that connects the car to the Internet and turns it into a mobile WiFi hotspot with internet connectivity for up to 10 devices.

It first appeared in Ireland on the 2018 Ford Focus but will be rolled out on future models also.

FordPass Connect also enables Live Traffic updates for the navigation system as well as providing up to the minute information on the location of nearby service stations, parking and food or leisure options. Live Traffic is complementary with FordPass Connect for the first two years.­

FordPass App

You can download a FordPass mobile app on Android and Apple devices, which allows a vehicle owner to remotely control some key functions on a vehicle with FordPass Connect, including:

  1. Door lock and unlock – taking away that occasional doubt sparked by the question ‘did I lock the car’
  2. Vehicle locator – helps owners to find their car in large car parks
  3. Vehicle status – among other items, it can check fuel levels, alarm status and oil life
  4. Remote start – (vehicles with automatic transmission) provides the ability to de-ice the windscreen and warm the car on cold mornings.

The Remote Start facility on FordPass has built-in safety elements that prevent the car from being driven away when started remotely and will shut off automatically after a set time period.

In the event of an accident, FordPass Connect can automatically place an eCall to the emergency services and provide them with your vehicle’s location. You can also press an SOS button in your car to contact the emergency services directly if you witness an accident or require emergency assistance.

FordPass Connect in Ireland

FordPass Connect comes with 3 months or 3GB of complementary data. Afterwards you can buy data bundles for a day, a month, or even a year from Vodafone.

FordPass Connect is currently available on the new Ford Focus and the Transit Connect commercial vehicles.  In the coming months, FordPass Connect will be extended to other vehicles in the Ford range.

Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland, said: “We are delighted to launch the FordPass cutting-edge connectivity on some of our top-selling car and van models such as Focus and Transit Connect.  FordPass has great benefits for the average motorist and even more so for the business user who is managing a fleet of vans – one FordPass account can be used to connect with multiple vehicles providing a fleet manager with the ability to remotely monitor a company’s vehicles.”

For more information click here.

Follow these tips from Liberty Insurance on what to do if your car breaks down

What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down

Follow these tips from Liberty Insurance on what to do if your car breaks down
Follow these tips from Liberty Insurance on what to do if your car breaks down

In the Real World, things don’t always go to plan. Liberty Insurance get that, that’s why they’re here to help when things get real. In the first of their Real World Blog series, we look at the measures you need to take in the unfortunate event of a car breakdown.

Most drivers don’t expect a breakdown, but the essential thing to bear in mind in these situations, is to stay safe. Be sure to contact your breakdown service provider right away.

Here are a few simple tips to keep you, your passengers and other road users safe if your car breaks down.

Motorways & Dual Carriageways

By far the trickiest place to suffer a car breakdown is on a motorway or dual carriageway, particularly if you are in the outside or overtaking lane when the issue happens. The RSA has a list of recommendations which we’ve listed below:

  1. If you can, pull into the hard shoulder as soon as possible. Put your hazard lights and side lights on and then point your front wheels away from the road.
  2. If you have a visibility vest, wear it. Visibility vests are relatively cheap and don’t take up much storage space so it’s a good idea to get a few and leave them in the car.
  3. Exit your vehicle on the left hand side, away from the traffic on the road. Be safe and stay away from the fast moving cars on the other side! Make your way up the embankment and if there is a barrier, climb over it if possible. You and your passengers should stay well away from the hard shoulder.
  4. Don’t attempt to make any repairs on the car, no matter how small they seem to be. Plenty of people have warning triangles in their car, BUT you should not attempt to place this behind your car on the motorway. There will be cars speeding by and it’s risky to even attempt it.
  5. Call the local authorities. If you do this from your mobile phone, they will need to know your location. If you use one of the roadside SOS phones on the motorway network, they will automatically know your location. Next contact your breakdown service.
  6. If the repair services can get you back up and running there and then, that’s great but be very careful when it comes to re-joining the motorway. You’ll need to build up your speed on the hard shoulder before merging into traffic. Be aware that other vehicles may have stopped on the hard shoulder.
  7. If for some reason you are unable to follow the above advice, you should stay in your vehicle with your safety belt securely fastened and switch on your hazard lights. Then, as above, call 999 and wait for assistance. You should also contact your breakdown service provider to let them know.
what to do if your car breaks down
If you have a breakdown on a rural road, pull into the left as far as you can

National, Secondary & Minor roads

If you break down on any road smaller than a motorway, you’ll need to do things a little differently to make sure you remain safe throughout. Again, we’ve taken the advice of the RSA to give you the best information on how to handle the situation.

  1. If you can, pull over to a safe place. Some national roads have a hard shoulder, but if there isn’t one, pull over as far left as you can.
  2. Turn on your hazard lights and if the light is poor or visibility is low, turn on your side lights also.
  3. Although the cars will be passing a little slower than those on the motorway, you should still only get out of your car on the left hand side of the road.
  4. Put on your high visibility vest and place your Red Warning Triangle 50 metres behind your car to alert oncoming traffic.
  5. In contrast to actions on the motorway, no matter where on the road you breakdown, be it in the middle of the road in town or out on a narrow country road, you should get back in your car once you’ve put out your triangle. That’s the safest place to be.
  6. Once in your car, ring the Gardaí for assistance and then call your breakdown service provider to let them know.
what to do if your car breaks down
It's a good idea to use a Red Warning Triangle to alert other drivers

Even experienced drivers might not know the above protocols for what to do if you breakdown, but now that you’ve familiarised yourself with them, you’re ready for any breakdown.

All Liberty car insurance policies come with 24/7 breakdown assistance with Home Start as standard and it won’t affect your no claims bonus.

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

191 car offers Ireland

191 Offers And Car Deals For Ireland

191 car offers Ireland
Thinking about buying a new car this winter?

On January 1st 2019 we enter the new 191 registration period, and there are a number of 191 offers and car deals buyers can avail of from manufacturers. We’ve put together a list of 191 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.

Alfa Romeo

For 191, there are savings across the Alfa Romeo range from €1,000 up to €6,000 depending on model. Savings are available for customers placing new orders from 15thNovember until the 31st December 2018 (cars must be registered by 31st January 2019). There will be no diesel model price increases resulting from the VRT diesel increase from 1st January 2019.


2.9% APR available now on selected models and 'get more equipment for less' on a 191 Audi with exclusive upgrade packs.


BMW Group Ireland has announced price reductions across BMW and MINI brands in Ireland. The average price reduction is 5.1 per cent, representing an average saving of €3,296 on new BMW models. Meanwhile for MINI, the average reduction is -3.9% or €850 across its range.


The brand is hosting a 191 Open Event in dealerships nationwide from the 1 – 10 November. All 191 orders placed during the Open Event will get 3 year's free servicing, as well as low rate finance rates, scrappage and purchase contributions across the Citroën range.


Dacia is offering 4.9% APR on all orders taken and registered before 31st January 2019, including the new Dacia Duster, which customers can get from €149 a month.


191 offers include 3 years free servicing across the range as well as low rate finance starting from 3% APR for orders placed by 31st December 2018 (registered by 31stJanuary 2019). There's also an engine price match across the three Fiat Tipo body styles range, which will enable customers to pick up a diesel model at the same price as the petrol equivalent. There will be no diesel model price increases resulting from the VRT diesel increase from 1st January 2019.


Ford's Innov8 campaign for 191 includes 7 year warranty, 7 year roadside assistance and 2 year’s free servicing on select models ordered before the end of December 2018. The new Ford Focus also gets a price reduction. The lead-in price to the new Ford Focus range in Ireland is now €22,495, down from €24,900.


Customers ordering vehicles before the 31st of December and registered by the 31st of January 2019 can avail of 9% APR finance across the range, free service plan or one year’s free road tax.


Scrappage bonus up to €5,000 available on i10, i20, i30, i30 Fastback, i30 Tourer, ix20, Tucson, Santa Fe, i40, Ioniq, Kona on orders booked by November 30th 2018. Includes 5 Years Unlimited Manufacturer’s Warranty, 5 Years Free Health Check and 5 Years AA Roadside Assistance.


There's 4.9% APR PCP Finance available across the Jaguar range (excluding XJ).


Up to €2500 in savings on Renegade and Compass range on orders before 31st January 2019. There will be no diesel model price increases resulting from the VRT diesel increase from 1st January 2019.


For 191 there's 3.9% APR on both HP and PCP. But, for 191 Ceed, Sportage and Stonic models ordered before 31st January, Kia Ireland is offering 0% APR on HP. Order any 191 model before 19th December and receive a €500 SuperValu Gift Card.

Land Rover

There's 4.9% APR PCP Finance available across the Land Rover range (excluding Range Rover Sport and Range Rover).


APR's from 3.9% on IS, ES, UX, NX and RXL 7 Seater Models.


PCP finance from 1.91% APR and a 191 bonus up to €2000. If you have an eligible car and want to upgrade, there is an Eco Upgrade of up to €3000. There's a Complimentary Tech Pack available on the Mazda3.


There are Star Finance PCP packages available across the range while the new A-Class goes on sale with 3.9% APR.


To simplify the range there are now three trims available Classic, Sport and Exclusive, with more standard equipment across the range.


The new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has just arrived for 191 priced from €39,900 (after Government grants) and this reflects a 20% price reduction on the previous model. There's €1,000 worth of accessories when ordered by December 31st 2018. Outlander PHEV, Outlander and Eclipse Cross are available with 1.9% APR HP finance. The ASX is available with 3.9% APR PCP finance. There's also a €500 Dunnes Stores Shopping voucher available with these models when ordered by 17th Dec 2018.


There's up to €5,500 Scrappage available and 3.9% Finance across the range, with 0% Finance on new Micra from €68 per week. There's €4,000 off the Pulsar. Nissan has announced that it will absorb the 1% budget increase in VRT rates on all new diesel cars and introduce a price freeze in a move to reward customers ordering new 191 cars before the end of the year. Also, order a new Nissan X-Trail before 31st December and get 2 extra seats for free with Nissan’s seven seats for the price of five offer across the X-Trail range. The ‘Big Nissan Price Freeze’ offer is available on all new diesel and petrol vehicles ordered before the 21st December while stocks last. Customer can also purchase a 191 Qashqai or Micra and Nissan will replace it with a 201 Nissan for free.


For 191, buyers can choose between 0% APR financing, €3,000 scrappage, or 3 years free servicing.


Peugeot Drivetime event now on at Peugeot dealerships nationwide with offers including PCP and HP low cost finance from 3.9% APR, a five year extended warranty across the passenger car range, scrappage of up to €4,000 or a deposit contribution of up to €750. Peugeot has also announced a price-freeze for diesel versions of the Peugeot 3008 SUV for the month of January 2019 to absorb an expected price rise due to a 1% VRT increase on diesel passenger cars announced in the recent Budget. The price protection offers customers savings from €370 on a 3008 Access 1.5 BlueHDi 130bhp model, up to €585 on a GT Automatic 2.0 BlueHDi 180bhp model.


Customers can avail of savings of over €4,000 with 1.91% APR PCP or HP finance, €1,000 cashback and three years’ servicing on the Renault Kadjar. All other models come with 1.91% APR PCP or HP finance, €750 cashback and three years’ servicing. There's 0% APR and 0% B.I.K on the electric Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 for 191. Offers are available on all orders taken and registered before 31st January 2019.


Finance is available on the Ateca, Arona, Leon and Ibiza from 1.9%. As part of SEAT's 191 campaign, customers can get up to €5,000 scrappage on the SEAT Leon range, €3,000 on the SEAT Ateca, €2,000 on the SEAT Ibiza, and €1,000 on the SEAT Arona. SEAT is also offering a three-year service plan for just €299 to all customers. There are also savings to be made on product packs on select models.


Open Event running until November 10th. ŠKODA Scrappage up to the value of €4,500 and 0% PCP Finance on selected models. The ŠKODA scrappage offer can be combined with PCP / HP finance at just 3.9%APR, allowing customers to remove older, less efficient cars from the road and replace them with newer more efficient ŠKODA models.


The Swift, Ignis, Baleno, S-Cross and Vitara are available with 0% APR.


APRs are available from 2.9% on passenger cars and 1.9% on commercial vehicles. There are trade in boosters up to €3,000 on select passenger and commercial models. All Toyota passenger cars now come standard with 3 years servicing. There is a lower APR rate on hybrids and on Luna grades and higher. Corolla Hatchback Hybrid is priced from €203 monthly on PCP, Corolla Touring Sports from €234, Camry Hybrid from €300 per month and RAV4 Hybrid from €278 per month.


0% PCP Finance is available on Golf and Golf Estate Highline and R-Line models, Touran Highline and R-Line models, Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace Highline and R-Line models, and Passat Saloon and Estate Highline models. This offer applies to new vehicles ordered before December 31st. There are also Purchase Contributions of up to €2,500 on selected models in the range when you finance your car through Volkswagen Bank. There are also Technology Upgrades available across the range.


Until 31st March 2019, the XC90 is available at 3.9% PCP, the XC40, XC60, S90 and V40 at €2.9%, the V60 at 1.9% and the V90 at 0.09%. There is also a luxury digital pack on all models except the V40 and outgoing S60 (€699 extra) and XC90 (€999), which offers customers a minimum saving of €3,000.  The pack includes front and rear park assist, rear parking camera, High Performance Pro audio system and smartphone integration with USB hub.

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018

Caroline Takes The Black Chili Challenge With Continental

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018
I travelled to France with Continental Tyres for the Black Chili Challenge!

I recently travelled to the South of France with Continental Tyres UK to take the Black Chili Challenge. Over two days and two stunning driving routes, I sampled Continental’s ultra high performance (UHP) tyres on some of the world’s most sought after performance cars.

The garage for the two day event was the stuff of dreams – two Audi RS3s, two Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG cabriolets, two BMW M240i cabriolets, two Porsche Boxsters and two Tesla Model S. It didn’t take long to reply to that invitation. Vroom, vroom, here we go!

Yet the interesting thing about this event in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region was that it was not about foot to the floor driving - it wasn’t even really about the sports cars assembled. As the Conti team put it to us, it was a ‘live marketing experience’ giving us an opportunity to feel the brand’s ultra high performance tyres on the road and learn more about tyre technology and Continental's other automotive technologies - while enjoying great scenery, challenging roads and French hospitality.

So what's the Black Chili Challenge?

The Continental Team also produced a challenge element to the event – the Black Chili Challenge. But it was not a race - I repeat, not a race. To boost our engagement with the event, each team was given an iPad with a number of challenges to be performed at particular intervals over the two day event. We also were given presentations on Continental’s automotive technologies.

Continental Black Chili Challenge France 2018
Continental Tyres assembled an amazing line-up of cars for us to experience the best in ultra high performance tyres

You see there are many cars ‘powered by Continental’, with more than just tyres. For example, the BMW M240i we drove has a load of gear sourced from Continental - tyre pressure monitoring system, wheel speed sensors, dynamic stability control system, engine management sensors, heating and ventilation system and even the electronics in the seat.

The ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is the most amazing piece of automotive safety technology that keeps you on the straight and narrow every day in your car without you even knowing. Sensors on the car feed the ESC’s brain with information and make mechanical interventions like braking individual wheels to correct understeer and oversteer. This is incredible stuff.

For the Black Chili Challenge, we were also asked to keep our average fuel consumption below 15l/100km, which some of the cars seemed to make more challenging (looking at you Audi RS3). That also cut out any notions of nonsense behind the wheel. Points were awarded for things like safe and economical driving, time keeping and team spirit. There was even a card system like in football – so any naughty behaviour and you could be sent home!

What is Continental Vision Zero?

You see safety is a huge aspect of Continental’s work in tyre technology and creating other driving aids and assistance systems in cars. The company has been a pioneer of road safety for over 140 years. They have a vision, a big vision: well actually it’s the Continental Vision Zero! The company wants to evolve from “the best in braking to zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero accidents”. At any given time when driving, the tyre has only an area the size of a postcard in contact with the road. Yes, your tyres are very important for how you control and stop your car.

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018
The Continental Vision Zero is an initiative by the manufacturer to improve road safety

So what’s the significance of Black Chili? It’s an innovative rubber compound in Continental’s ultra high performance tyres that ensures optimum interlock­ing between tyre and road surface – making for outstanding grip in dry or wet conditions. Compared with conventional silica tires, Black Chili tyres have on average 26 percent lower rolling resistance, 30 percent higher grip and 5 percent higher mileage.

So were the cars good?

The cars for the Black Chili Challenge were chosen for a few reasons: principally of course (I might be stating the obvious here) because they were shod with tyres from Continental. For example, the Porsche was on new Continental SportContact 6. Approved for speeds of up to 350 km/h, the SportContact 6 has the highest speed rating of any series-produced tyre in the Continental portfolio. It was at this point where I learnt how in the development of a vehicle, a car manufacturer will often come to Continental to develop a specific tyre for that car. Continental will be given a number of requirements and they receive a pre-production car for testing (Continental has their own testing tracks in Europe and USA).

The Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche were chosen for the event because they are reasonably compact for the roads we were driving on in the South of France: the ‘Route des Cretes’ and ‘Route des Cascades’, two routes which get very narrow and dangerous in places. The largest car in the garage was the Tesla Model S. It’s a wide car and definitely felt it on these narrow, mountainous roads. In the company of the Boxster et al, its shortcomings as a performance car were apparent. But its inclusion was warranted because Tesla came to Continental with a specific request – develop tyres to reduce road noise in the cabin! Yeah it worked!

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018
Each team was given a road book with step by step directions to add to the challenge element!

My favourite car of the bunch was the Audi RS3. It just made such easy work of the tight hairpins and flowing corners, with beautifully weighted and precise steering with a fabulous supporting soundtrack from the 2.5-litre, five cylinder engine. The BMW M240i was another highlight with plenty of dirty pops from its 6 cylinder in line engine. It looked too pretty to make noises like that. You scoundrel!

Under blue skies and +25 degree heat , we climbed into the mountains above Nice, driving across asphalt of varying quality. Corner after corner, there was the opportunity to feel the grip of the Conti tyres, helping the cars pass their power to the road safely and efficiently.

Continental Black Chili Challenge France 2018
The BMW M240i was one of my favourite cars over the two days of driving

So where did we finish? Well we were happy with a podium finish, taking joint third position in the Black Chili Challenge with Adam from UK motoring site CarWitter.

Did you learn anything?

But the event was about so much more for me than just fast cars. I genuinely learnt so much about tyres and automotive technologies in a real fun and engaging way. I was also very impressed with the passion, commitment, knowledge and dedication of the whole Continental team. They are not just employees but real advocates and ambassadors for their company and its Vision Zero campaign. The event was run fantastically well and it was cool to be awarded for our smarts, team spirit and safe and economical driving -  a fantastic message to send out.

I would like to thank the Continental Team for an amazing experience and a special mention for Mark from Continental Tyres UK. Also thank you to Marcel from Continental Germany for being an excellent co-driver, reading the road book perfectly and being great company over two days of driving!

Caroline Kidd

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018
'Powered by Continental'

What preferences are Irish car buyers showing in the new car market so far in 2018?

What's Ireland Buying?

What preferences are Irish car buyers showing in the new car market so far in 2018?
What preferences are Irish car buyers showing in the new car market so far in 2018?

This feature first appeared in the October issue of Forecourt News, the magazine of the Irish Petrol Retailers' Association (IPRA). 

Sales of SUVs, petrol cars and hybrids show growth amidst the backdrop of a contracting new car market in Ireland in 2018, writes Caroline Kidd.

In August, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) released their Second Quarterly Motor Review prepared by economist Jim Power. The report gives an overview and analysis of the new car market in Ireland in the first six months of 2018. It highlights that despite Ireland’s economic indicators pointing towards an expanding economy with consumer spending continuing to improve steadily, the depreciation in the value of sterling since the end of 2015 has made life more difficult for the Irish motor trade.

Industry experts cite used car imports from the UK as the reason for falling sales of new cars here. Total new car registrations for this year are already being forecast at around 125,000, which would represent a decline of 4.8% on the total number of cars registered in Ireland in 2017. In contrast, the used import market is expected to grow by around 12% in 2018 to reach 104,660 cars.

Yet it’s not all doom and gloom and there are still plenty of new cars being bought here, with sales of SUVs, petrol cars and hybrids showing the most growth in the first half of 2018. Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Nissan hold the lion’s share in sales of new passenger cars and together these brands accounted for 46.29% of new car registrations in the first six months of 2018.

2018 has also seen a tussle between the Hyundai Tucson and the Nissan Qashqai for the title of Ireland’s bestselling car. The Nissan Qashqai was Ireland’s bestselling car up to the end of June 2018, but the Tucson recovered some ground in July to overtake the Qashqai, and by the time you read this there could be a change at the top again!

Whether it’s the Tucson or Qashqai on top, the fact remains that like our European neighbours, our preferences are changing from traditional hatchbacks and saloons, to SUVs and crossovers. While hatchbacks and saloons still make up just under 50% of the new car market - and the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia remain among Ireland’s bestselling cars - sales of these vehicles are shrinking year on year.

Sales of SUVs are booming, with brands like Peugeot really enjoying their popularity
Sales of SUVs are booming, with brands like Peugeot really enjoying their popularity

And with SUVs already showing over 34% growth this year, it would appear that this is where buyers are going. Manufacturers are responding with more and more new SUV models, particularly among the B- and C-segment.

One brand riding the current wave of interest in SUVs is Peugeot. The French brand recorded the strongest growth in the Irish new car market at +53% for the first six months of 2018. Peugeot Ireland contributes sales of their Peugeot 2008, 3008 and 5008 SUVs to the brand’s change in fortunes.

In the last issue of Forecourt News, we reported the resurgence in sales of petrol cars, and the latest new car registrations data shows that the trend away from diesel towards petrol is continuing. In the first half of 2018, diesel cars accounted for 55.47% of total new registrations, down from 66.02% in the first half of 2017. Petrol cars accounted for 38.02% of the total, up from 30.24% in the first half of 2017. Petrol electric hybrids accounted for 5.4% of the total, up from 3.15% in the first half of 2017. 529 electric cars were registered in the first half of the year, which is 41.4% higher than the first half of 2017.

On a lighter note, grey is the most popular car colour in Ireland in 2018, followed by black and white. Interestingly, there has been a significant increase in the number of orange cars registered in 2018, up over 200%!

Looking forward to the second half of 2018, the SIMI report predicts that the economic fundamentals that underpin new car registrations look set to remain positive, but continued strong growth in used imports will continue to undermine new car sales. Typically new car registrations dwindle towards the end of the year anyway, but with plenty of new models on the way between now and the end of the year, the new 191 registration plate is already in sight.

Sales of orange cars have increased this year - like this Volkswagen Polo
Sales of orange cars have increased this year - like this Volkswagen Polo

Caroline Kidd is a motoring journalist and jury member for Irish Car of the Year. She is the editor of Changing Lanes, one of Ireland’s leading motoring blogs. Visit her blog at

The Ferrari Monza SP1

2018 Paris Motor Show

The Ferrari Monza SP1
The Ferrari Monza SP1 at the 2018 Paris Motor Show

What will the 2018 Paris Motor Show be remembered for? This year’s show was a reasonably calm affair: fewer manufacturers and fewer press conferences, with brands such as Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Mazda, Opel and Bentley not attending this year.

Yet there were still plenty of manufacturers taking up floor space at Paris, with Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Peugeot, Citroen and Renault some of the brands putting on a considerable display of confidence in the biennial motor show.

It was the usual mix of performance car, concept car, family car, and increasingly electric car and hybrid car.

Audi's new all-electric SUV, the e-tron
Audi's new all-electric SUV, the e-tron

High profile debuts included the Audi e-tron SUV, BMW 3-Series, Kodiaq RS, Kia Proceed, SEAT Tarraco, DS 3 Crossback, and Mercedes-Benz GLE, while Toyota brought three new models that you are going to hear a lot about in the next 12 months - the new Corolla, Camry and RAV4 Hybrids.

Renault and Peugeot brought their A game when it came to concepts - the retro-inspired Peugeot e-LEGEND Concept the unofficial star of the show, and the Renault EZ-Ultimo ticked the weird but wonderful box, obligatory for any motor show.

But there were few brags of horsepower; electric range is far more fashionable these days. Kia brought the e-Niro, Mercedes-Benz the EQC and Audi the e-tron SUV, all touting a range over 400km.

The Peugeot e-LEGEND Concept was a stand out car from this year's show
The Peugeot e-LEGEND Concept was a stand out car from this year's show

The performance cars were present but this year sitting a but more shyly among the SUVs and eco-warriors. Ferrari brought the 488 Pista Spider, Monza SP1 and SP2, Hyundai brought the i30 N Fastback, Audi brought the new SQ2 and R8 LMS GT3, BMW brought the Z4 and 8-Series, and Mercedes-Benz the A-Class A 35.

The 2018 Paris Motor Show was also an opportunity to explore some of the other cars making their way to Ireland imminently including the Audi A1 and Q3, Citroen C5 Aircross, Peugeot 508, Renault Kadjar (facelift), BMW X5, Suzuki Jimny and Honda CR-V Hybrid.

Citroen brought a C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid, expected in Ireland in 2020
Citroen brought a C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid, expected in Ireland in 2020

For more photos and commentary from the show, please visit my Instagram and Twitter profiles!

WLTP will give car buyers more realistic fuel economy and emissions values when buying their new car

WLTP: Everything You Need To Know

WLTP will give car buyers more realistic fuel economy and emissions values when buying their new car
New WLTP emissions testing for new cars and vans looks set to shake up the motor industry

What is WLTP?

WLTP is a new, more realistic test procedure for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for new cars, as well as their pollutant emissions directly on the road by the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test. Here's a simple guide to the new procedure and what it means for motorists in Ireland.

What does WLTP stand for?

Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure.

What does WLTP measure?

Under EU law, all new passenger cars must undergo emissions testing. WLTP is a new laboratory test that measures fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for passenger cars, and their pollutant emissions. It replaces the New European Test Cycle (NEDC) that was used since 1992.

Why the change?

The WLTP is a stricter set of test conditions that will give more realistic fuel consumption and CO2 emission values for the benefit of consumers. NEDC was based on theoretical driving; the new procedure is based on real driving data that better reflects on-road performance.


  • Dynamic cycle more representative of real driving vs single test cycle
  • 30 mins cycle time vs 20 mins cycle time
  • 23.25 km cycle distance vs 11 km cycle distance
  • 4 more dynamic driving phases vs 2 driving phases
  • 46.5 km/h average speed vs 34 km/h average speed
  • 131 km/h maximum speed vs 120 km/h maximum speed
  • Influence of optional equipment on CO2 and fuel performance considered under new procedure
  • Different gear shift points for each vehicle vs fixed gear shift points
  • Measurements at 23 degrees Celsius, CO2 values corrected to 14 degrees Celsius vs measurements at 20-30 degrees Celsius

What's the impact?

Due to more realistic test conditions, the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions measured under the new procedure are in many cases higher compared to those measured under the NEDC. In countries like Ireland that follow CO2 based taxation, this obviously will have an impact on the price of our cars and motor tax if adjustments are not made by national governments. The new test also measures the influence of optional equipment on CO2 and fuel economy, so these values may vary for cars within the same model range depending on vehicle specification.

When does WLTP start?

The new procedure is being phased in between 2017 and 2020. It's in the news now because from 1st September 2018, all new cars must be approved under the WLTP test procedure. In the transitional period, new cars will have both a WLTP and a calculated NEDC equivalent CO2 and consumption value, the latter which can still be used for vehicle registration and taxation purposes until full bedding in of WLTP in 2020. From 1st January 2019, the EU recommends that only fuel consumption and CO2 emissions values under the new procedure are used for consumer information purposes.

Does WLTP apply to vans?

Yes it does. From 1 September 2018 manufacturers will have to provide WLTP values for newly introduced light commercial vehicles.

WLTP in Ireland

WLTP values for CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, and the calculated NEDC values that can be used during the transition to full WLTP, will in many cases be higher compared to the NEDC values for the same car. In Ireland, this could mean that cars become more expensive to buy and to tax as we transition. Some brands are predicting increases of a few hundred euro based on the NEDC-correlated values. SIMI is calling on the Government to review VRT Bands in the next Budget to accommodate for higher, more realistic CO2 emissions on new cars as a result of the new emissions testing procedure, so that the consumer does not incur additional costs. Industry experts predict that some models could be discontinued if they are no longer deemed to be suitable for the Irish market based on rising costs as a result of CO2 based taxation. However there is still uncertainty in the industry to the full impact, with many insiders taking a 'wait and see' approach.

Which cars are WLTP compliant?

Up to date information can be found from the manufacturers' websites. Some manufacturers have already released revised fuel economy and emissions data for their range of vehicles.

For more information, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has created this resource.

Caroline Kidd