Mazda 3 SkyActiv-X Prototype

Petrol Bounces Back

Mazda 3 SkyActiv-X Prototype
Mazda is just one of the car manufacturers investing heavily in the next generation of petrol engines

This article was first published in Forecourt News, the magazine of the Irish Petrol Retailers Association (IPRA). You can download the magazine online here.

The IPRA is the representative body for petrol retailers in Ireland, providing advice and guidance to members as well as lobbying on their behalf. Please check out their website here to find out more about the work of the IPRA.

In the article I discuss the resurgence of sales of petrol cars in Ireland, and the brands that are winning, as buyers look for good petrol alternatives to the diesel family car.

Cast your mind back to 2008. The Irish Government had just moved the motor tax system for new cars to one based on CO2 emissions. The new system rewarded vehicles with the lowest CO2 emissions with a lower cost of annual motor tax and favoured the diesel cars of the day.

Irish motorists began to desert petrol cars in their droves. In 2007, petrol accounted for about 70% of the new car market in Ireland; by 2011 diesel accounted for about 70% of the new car market. We went from being a country with a strong petrol bias to one with a strong diesel bias. Similar trends were seen in other European countries.

But petrol is now undergoing an unlikely resurgence. In the last few years diesel cars have received some terrible press regarding false manufacturer claims on emissions. In 2017, the media was awash with reports of diesel bans in many European cities.

There is already some movement in the industry away from diesel. Toyota announced earlier this year that the company will begin to phase out diesel engines in passenger cars in 2018 in favour of petrol and hybrid models. Honda launched the tenth generation Civic in 2017 with two petrol engines (though a diesel has since joined the range). The next Honda CR-V SUV will be available in hybrid and petrol only when it arrives in Ireland later in 2018.

Fuel pumps
Sales of petrol cars in Ireland are undergoing a resurgence

So as the industry and consumer buying behaviour begins to change, who are the winners?

Petrol electric hybrids and plug-in hybrids are making gains, with sales so far in 2018 up about 67% on 2017. But this still only equates to about 4,178 cars.

Petrol is the real winner as buyers stop defaulting to diesel. According to figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, sales of new petrol cars are up nearly 20% in 2018, equating to about 26,940 new petrol cars registered in Ireland in the first three months of the year. Market share for petrol is up now to about 38% from 30% in 2017, while diesel has slipped down to 56% already in 2018 from 67% in 2017.

Individual brands are also seeing the same shift away from their previously popular diesel models. At a press briefing given by Nissan Ireland in December 2017, Irish motoring journalists were shown some interesting data on 2018 pre-orders for the brand. Nissan has a strong market share in Ireland with the Qashqai being the bestselling car in Ireland in March 2018. There is also a petrol and diesel option so the Qashqai is a good barometer for what is happening in the market.

Nissan's data showed that the number of new car buyers who had opted to buy the petrol version of the Nissan Qashqai had increased from 29% in 2017 to 54% for 2018. The numbers buying the diesel model have fallen from 71% to 46%.

It’s clear that car buyers are no longer defaulting to diesel and are really doing the maths and looking at the sort of journeys they make to work out what the best option is for them in the long run.

Nissan Qashqai
The Nissan Qashqai is Ireland's bestselling car. According to Nissan, the Qashqai's popularity is driven by the availability of petrol engines in their range

Manufacturers who can offer good, efficient petrol engines in their model ranges now have the opportunity to really ride the crest of this wave. The last few years have seen a trend in the industry for engine downsizing, with the likes of Ford, Peugeot, Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and the Volkswagen Group leading the way. The addition of turbochargers has facilitated the manufacture of powerful and efficient three-cylinder engines, some with as little capacity as 1.0-litre. But in small to medium-sized cars these are more than capable of lugging around the average family and their gear.

Brands are also investing more in making their petrol engines even more efficient with manufacturers like Mazda claiming that the next generation of petrol engines could be as efficient as an electric vehicle when measured 'well-to-wheel'. Mazda's SKYACTIV-X petrol engine with innovative Spark Controlled Compression Ignition is currently in development and Mazda claims that engine efficiency will be up 20%-30% over the current generation of Mazda petrol engines when the engines go into production in 2019.

Many people are predicting the demise of the internal combustion engine. But there is vagueness about when and too much doubt still about electric for anyone to write off the internal combustion engine just yet. We can expect to see more innovative petrol technology in the next few years. For now at least, petrol seems to be the real winner.

Caroline Kidd

The Adamastor P003RL

9 Things To Know About The Adamastor Sports Car

The Adamastor sports car P003RL
The Adamastor P003RL is a lightweight sports car made in Portugal

Adamastor is a Portuguese manufacturer of lightweight sports cars, and their first model, the P003RL, is now on sale.  I recently spoke to Francisco Vieira da Costa, who works in marketing and communications at Adamastor, to find out more about the Adamastor sports car.

"The P003RL is a true race car that you can also drive on the street. Adamastor's desire is to bring car and driver closer than ever."

1. The P003RL is Adamastor's first 'road legal' model, though the brand has been building prototypes since 2012. The P003RL was codenamed after the third generation racing prototype that was built to be road legal (RL). This model is a 2-seat road legal racing car, primarily developed for the track. The P003RL was first tested in November 2016 and since then Adamastor has been focused on the ride characteristics and reliability.

"Everything that the team learned from the first two prototypes was applied to the P003RL and further refinements were made as a result of a development program that included several tests on track." 

2. You can choose your engine. At the moment, the P003RL can be specified with a four cylinder, 2.0-litre or 2.3-litre turbo, or a 2.7-litre V6 turbo or 3.5-litre turbo charged or naturally aspirated V6. The engines can be mated to standard manual or automatic gearbox or a custom made straight cut dog gearbox with manual, sequential or paddle shift selection. But Adamastor says it is prepared for any configuration upon evaluation by the engineering team.

The development prototype has a 3.5-litre V6 naturally aspirated engine (sourced from Toyota) with 273hp that can go from 0 to 100kmh in just 4.3 seconds. The company also uses Ford EcoBoost engines and is currently in negotiations with more manufacturers for more engines.

The Adamastor sports car P003RL
The Adamastor P003RL can be specified with a number of engine and gearbox options

3. The Adamastor sports car was developed to be fast and efficient on the track. The chassis is manufactured by Adamastor to be lightweight but with a high torsional rigidity. The car weighs about 850kg in total and all the components have been installed as low as possible in order to lower the centre of gravity of the car. There's a double wishbone suspension front and rear, optimised for track use. The suspension can be tuned to the customer's specifications with adjustments made on camber, caster, toe, ride height, spring stiffness, damping and anti-roll bar stiffness.

4. It's an expensive piece of kit! The starting price for the Adamastor sports car is €98,800 plus taxes, but pricing varies depending on customisation. 

"We've just recently made the P003RL available for sale and we are in the process of developing a car with one client. We also have six Adamastor Experiences booked, the first step of the buying process."

The Adamastor sports car P003RL
The Adamastor P003RL is designed to be fast and efficient on track

5. The buying experience is unique. They test your driving skills! The P003RL can only be acquired from Adamastor's facilities in the north of Portugal. The P003RL doesn't have any electronic aids and according to Adamastor you have to prove that you have the skills to handle it! With this in mind, anyone interested in buying an Adamastor sports car is invited to Vasco Sameiro Circuit in Braga, Portugal, for a track day where the client's driving skill is evaluated and enhanced. The brand wants customers to continuously improve their driving skills and buying a P003RL is based on this premise.

"The buying experience is the beginning - and a crucial part - of what we call the experience of having an Adamastor. The owner of an Adamastor is more than just a person who bought a sports car. It is a person recognised for their mastery when driving a pure sports car."

6. The Adamastor sports car is customisable far beyond the automotive industry standards. You can choose the materials, the colours, interior details and other elements. The Adamastor team will adjust the driving position, adapt the suspension system and setup, change the powertrain and even customise the gearbox ratios in order to find the perfect balance for the customer. Future owners can even go further and propose structural changes to the vehicle and new interior ideas.

The Adamastor sports car P003RL
Clients interested in buying an Adamastor must prove their skill on track first!

7. The buyer is involved in the process from start to finish. The client can visit the factory during the production of their Adamastor and they'll also receive regular and customised technical feedback about their car. By keeping track of everything that's been done, they’ll be able to tell the story of their car and share the key moments of its production through videos or pictures (every special moment of the production will be recorded and shared with the client).

8. The cars are handbuilt in Portugal. All Adamastor cars are designed in co-creation with the customer and hand built in Porto in the north of Portugal by Portuguese skilled artisans.

"Developing the Portuguese automotive industry is one of the brand's highest purposes. We want to be the Portuguese flag on this industry." 

9. The inspiration for the name "Adamastor" came from a Portuguese poem Os Lusíadas, where the Adamastor – a monster based on Greek mythology – is the starting point for one of the greatest achievements of the Portuguese Age of Discoveries. In the poem the Adamastor represents the forces of nature that the Portuguese Navigators had to face on their journey.

"Just like discovering new worlds, building a sports car requires outstanding determination and resilience. For us, the name Adamastor represents the courage and determination to face challenges and overcome obstacles."

The Adamastor sports car P003RL
The Adamastor P003RL is available from around €98,000 - find out more at 

Thank you to Francisco and the team at Adamastor for their contribution to this article.

Check out Adamastor on:




Woman driving car

182 Offers And Car Deals For Ireland

Woman driving car thinking about 182 offers!
Thinking about buying a new car this summer? Check out our complete list of 182 offers

On July 1st we enter the new 182 registration period, and there are a number of 182 offers and car deals buyers can avail of from manufacturers. We've put together a list of 182 offers available from manufacturers. For more information visit the manufacturer's website or your local dealer.

Alfa Romeo

Personal Contract Plan (PCP) and Hire Purchase (HP) at 2.9% APR available on Mito, Giulietta, Giulia and Stelvio. Scrappage up to €2000 available on Mito, up to €2500 available on Giulietta and up to €4500 available on Giulia and Stelvio. Available until July 31st.


1.9% APR offers across all Audi A3, A4 and A6 models.  These offers also include special edition upgrade packages making it more affordable than ever to drive an Audi. The Audi Inspiration 182 sales event takes place across 11 authorised Audi dealerships nationwide from now until July 31st while stocks last.


BMW Ireland has launched a new 24 hour test drive programme available on variety of BMW models across the range at participating Retail Centre’s nationwide. There is also 9% off any new BMW model ordered or registered before 30th September.


182 offers include scrappage deals available, three year free servicing, five year unlimited mileage warranty and three years Citroen Roadside Assistance.


Zero deposit and 4.9% APR with Dacia Bank across the Dacia range including Duster, Sandero, Sandero Stepway, Logan and Logan Stepway for 182.


Customers can avail of 0% APR finance on all 182 DS models and also receive 3 years’ complimentary servicing.


Any customer, existing or new, can avail of the ‘Fiat Welcome Bonus’ offers of up to €2,500 for registrations by 31st July 2018. Fiat Ireland has also announced that petrol and diesel variants of the Tipo will now be priced the same.


Ford has launched a ‘Clean Up for 182’ campaign.  182 offers include reductions of up to €6,000 on the Ford Kuga, EcoSport, Focus, Fiesta, Grand C-MAX, Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy, and a seven year warranty.


There is a choice of 182 offers on all vehicles ordered before the 30th June and registered by the 31st July.

  1. 9% APR finance available across the range.
  2. Free Service Plan on all diesel models.
  3. Complimentary Motor Tax for the Honda Jazz
  4. Customer Choice of one of the following options: Complimentary Leather Upgrade or €1,000 Deal Booster or €4,000 Guaranteed Minimum Trade - In Value or Complimentary Road Tax and Service Plan, available on all CR-Vs


Trade in your car for a 182 Hyundai before 30th June and you will receive a five years unlimited mileage warranty, five years free health check and five years AA Roadside Assistance. Plus buyers can avail of scrappage up to €5000 or five years free servicing or 3.9% APR Finance.


Before 30th June, Jaguar is offering 0% APR finance or €6000 purchase contribution on the XE and XF.


Up until 31st July, the Jeep Renegade and Compass SUV’s are available with 2.9% APR Finance or scrappage of up to €3,500. The Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are available with 2.9% APR finance or up to €4,000 scrappage.


Kia's 182 offers include 0% APR on HP finance with Picanto, cee'd, Stonic, Sportage, Niro, and Optima, with 3.9% APR on both HP and PCP on other models.

Land Rover

There is 2.9% APR finance or a €4000 purchase contribution available on the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Evoque.


There is a €4,000 Hybrid trade up allowance or 2.9% APR available on IS saloons registered by August 31st, €2000 allowance or 3.9% APR on the NX range and 3.9% APR on the RX range.


Finance rates from 1.82% APR will be available on the Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6, Mazda CX-3 and Mazda MX-5. Or customers have the option of choosing a summer bonus discount of €4000 off the Mazda6, €3000 off the Mazda3 and €750 off the Mazda2, Mazda CX-3 and Mazda MX-5. The Mazda CX-5 is also available with finance at 5.9% APR and customers will get a complimentary summer bonus of €1000. In addition, the Japanese carmaker is running an Eco-Upgrade campaign on the Mazda2, Mazda3 and Mazda6. Drivers of cars 10 years or older can trade in their car and get discounts of €3000 off Mazda2 and Mazda3, and €4000 off the Mazda6.


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


MINI has just launched a new 48 hour test drive programme. In addition, MINI is offering purchase contributions from €500 towards a MINI One, €1000 on MINI Cooper and €2,000 towards MINI Cooper S models. There is also flexible finance rates of 4.9 percent APR available across the range.


There's 1.9% APR available on the Eclipse Cross and Outlander. The ASX is available with up to €2500 scrappage, while the Outlander is available with up to €4000 scrappage.


For 182, the Nissan Car Combo offer is geared towards families, presenting them with a limited opportunity to buy two brand new cars from as little as €341 per month through PCP, or to save as much as €11,800 on a cash deal. Customers can calculate their savings on a new website calculator. Other offers include up to €5,500 scrappage available, 3.9% APR finance across the range and 0% finance on the new Micra.


For 182, buyers can choose between 0% APR financing, €5,000 scrappage, or 5 years free servicing.


Customers who order a new 182 Peugeot passenger car or light commercial van before 30 June, can avail of finance from 0%, either scrappage up to €4,000 or a deposit contribution of up to €1,000 on younger trade-ins, plus free equipment upgrades on a number of models.


Reanult's 182 offers include 1.20% APR finance, €1200 cashback and three years’ servicing across all models including Clio, Koleos, Mégane, Scénic, Kadjar and Captur. There's also a 5-year warranty and 5 years’ roadside assistance. All three offers are available whether you choose HP or PCP.

Renault is also matching the zeros on the zero emissions electric ZOE, continuing its 0% APR HP offer and 0% finance until 31st July, with 0% BIK as standard.


SEAT’s 182 offers include 0% finance on all FR and XC models with scrappage of €3,000 on Leon and Ateca. Until July 31st, finance is available from 1.9% on the Ibiza. Finance is available from 2.9% on the new Arona. There's also scrappage of €1,000 on the Arona and €2,000 on the Ibiza.


There's 0% APR finance on offer or up to €4500 scrappage on selected Skoda models.


The new Swift, Ignis, BalenoS-Cross and Vitara are available with 0% APR.


Toyota has launched its ‘Upgrade to Hybrid for Free with Finance’ campaign with a number of 182 offers.

Deal highlights across the Toyota range include;

  1. RAV4 - €4,500 Trade In, Trade Up package, consisting of up to €2,500 trade in booster and €2,000 price reduction on the Luna Sport Hybrid. APR from 3.9%.
  2. Auris – Upgrade to hybrid for free (no finance required) with a €3,700 Trade In, Trade Up package consisting of up to €2,000 trade in booster and €1,700 of free specification on Auris Luna Sport Hybrid. APR from 3.9%.
  3. C-HR – Trade in booster of up to €2,000. APR from 3.9%.
  4. Yaris – Trade in booster of up to €1,500. APR from 3.9%.
  5. Prius – Trade in booster of up to €2,500. APR from 3.9%.
  6. Corolla – Upgrade to a Luna Sport Petrol and get a €2,500 Trade In, Trade Up package, plus €1,500 worth of additional luxury spec on the Luna Sport.
  7. Aygo – The new minor change Aygo is launching in June and is available from €30 per week. APR from 2.9%.


There's APR PCP finance from 0% and purchase contributions of up to €2,000 available.


There's a 10% reduction across selected models of the Volvo S90, V90, S60, V40 and V40 Cross Country ranges.

As a further incentive, Volvo is also offering selected complimentary pack upgrades on selected models of the XC40 and XC60.

The 10% reduction, pack offers and PCP offers are available at participating Volvo dealers and are applicable to retail sales only on selected new cars that are registered from now until the 1st October.

Dani Mahoney's MINI First

Me And My Car: Dani Mahoney's MINI Hatch

Dani Mahoney's MINI First
Dani Mahoney, editor of, with her 2011 MINI First

We recently spoke to Dani Mahoney, the editor of, Ireland's No.1 online magazine for teens, about her MINI First.

1. Tell us about your car.

It’s a 2011 MINI First 1.6-litre.

2. How long have you owned this car?
About a year and a half.

3. Why did you choose this car?

I just always loved Minis! I lived in Abu Dhabi for 3 years and I promised myself that when I came back home I’d buy myself one. Funny story: I was home for Christmas in 2016 when I saw the MINI that I bought. I wasn’t going to be home until July 2017 and I still only had my learner permit. Me and my mother went to “have a look at it” and I ended up buying it on the spot. I just loved it. I am the queen of impulse purchases, but no regrets!

4. What do you like about this car?

I think it’s very deceptive. People think that MINIs are a “cute” car for women, but it’s surprisingly powerful. I also love how you see older Minis still on the road. They stand the test of time.

5. Is there anything you would change about your car?

Yes, the boot is so small. I’m not sure that there’s really a point to it.

6. What's in your glovebox?

My phone charger and an audio cable to play my Spotify. I also have a bottle of Holy Water that my neighbour gave me when I bought the car!

7. Favourite memory of the car?

Driving it for the first time on my own. Terrifying, but amazing.

8. Who would your ideal passenger be?

Emily Weiss, the CEO of Glossier.

9. Three words to describe your car.

So much fun.

Thanks to Dani for taking part in this feature. You can follow on social media:

Joe, Luke, David, Ben with the 2006 Renault Clio that's going to take them from Mayo to Mongolia!

Mayo To Mongolia In A Renault Clio

Joe, Luke, David, Ben with the 2006 Renault Clio that's going to take them from Mayo to Mongolia!
Joe, Luke, David and Ben with the 2006 Renault Clio that's going to take them from Mayo to Mongolia!

Four Irish guys will take on the Mongol Rally this summer in a 12-year-old Renault Clio. I recently spoke to Ben Ruddy about this adventure of a lifetime, all in aid of raising funds for the Dublin Simon Community.

1. Tell us what is 'Mayo to Mongolia'?

Mayo to Mongolia is Ireland’s entry into the Mongol Rally 2018. We are three Mayo men (Ben Ruddy, Joe McGing, David Kelly) and one Wicklow native (Luke Cafferky). Billed as ‘the greatest motoring adventure on the planet’, the Mongol Rally is an unassisted rally from Europe to Mongolia that takes place every year to raise money for charities across the world.

There are only three rules for the rally:

1. You can only take a farcically small vehicle with an engine of 1.2-litres or less.

2. You’re completely on your own.

3. You've got to raise a minimum of £1000 for charity.

Always wanting to push the boundaries, we aim to rally to Mongolia and back again over three months this summer. We’re considering Mongolia the half-way point, not the end point. We’ll take the Silk Route there by heading south through Turkey, the Caucuses, Iran, and almost every ‘Stan’ on the map.

On this path we’ll cross several deserts (such as the Gobi Desert), drive through the remnants of the Aral Sea, and hit over half the height of Everest traversing the world’s second highest road called the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. Our way home will take us north through Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

2. What motivated you to take this trip?

Having previously backpacked all over the world, we wanted to see if we could do a trip spanning the world overland. Of course, we could have made this trip in a 4x4, but we wanted something to challenge us. We’re thinking that ‘If nothing goes wrong, everything has gone wrong’. Taking a totally unsuitable vehicle to cross the world in sets the stage for some fun happenings and plenty of break downs.

Participating in the Mongol Rally gives us a chance to help others too. While we’re financing the trip ourselves, we’ll be using it as a platform to raise awareness for the great work the Dublin Simon Community are engaged in, and to raise money on their behalf. To date we’ve raised almost €4,000 for our charity and hope to reach €5,000 before we depart on July 9th.

3. What vehicle are you using? 

We are using a Renault Clio generously sponsored to us by J.J. Burke Car Sales in Co. Mayo. It’s only had one female driver from new in 2006 so it’s probably been driven very well up until now. The poor thing doesn’t know what it's in for very shortly! We’ll definitely be putting it through its paces as we cover the 20,000km+ and 40 countries on the round trip between here and the Far East. We chose the Clio because it fits within the 1.2-litre guidelines for the rally, although it will make for some interesting times looking for parts if we break down in Asia with a car from Europe.

The modifications to the 2006 Renault Clio have begun adding a sump guard to the car
The modifications to the 2006 Renault Clio has begun with the addition of a sump guard to the car

4. How are you preparing the car for this journey?

We’re in the process of fitting a sump guard to the bottom of the car at this very moment, and we’ll certainly need it as the roads become almost non-existent, particularly in Mongolia. We also have our eyes peeled for a set of all-terrain tyres with steel rims, because at the moment the Clio is sitting pretty (if not appropriately) on some shiny alloys.

Recently we refitted the car with a leisure battery, power invertor, several USB charging ports, front spot lights, and side mounted lights for illuminating our camp site at night time. We plan to spend the vast amount of time camping to reduce costs on the journey.

On top of the car we have a half-sized roof box for storage, mounted next to which is a flat panel box for a spare tyre, two jerry cans, and a high-lift jack.

5. What will you be playing on the stereo on the way?

While there’s four of us doing the rally, and each with different tastes, we’ll try to keep it appropriate for the moment we are in – blasting “Back In The U.S.S.R.” will be a must for the Russian border crossing; the English version of the 1979 Eurovision hit “Dschinghis Khan” will guide us as we crisscross the Mongolian Steppe, and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” playing on loop will keep us going as the sun sets on the horizon.

The guys have also been refitting the interior of the Clio to prepare for their journey
The guys have also been refitting the interior of the Clio to prepare for their journey

6. If people want to support you on your mission how can they do it?

I have to say, we are extremely happy to have some wonderful sponsors behind us as we undertake this charity journey. J.J. Burke Car Sales for our wheels, Irish Ferries to get us across the ocean to the continent, Irish start-up company Hairy Eyes Sunglasses for helping keep our retinas safe in the blazing sun of the deserts, Tracker Shop Ireland for fitting our car with GPS tracking, and ABL CCTV for helping with modifications.

Our efforts to fundraise for our charity take precedence as we prepare to hit the road, and we would encourage people to donate to our GoFundMe page for the Dublin Simon Community We have signed a pledge with the Dublin Simon Community that 100% of donations received will go towards them.

The team would like to also raise at least €500 for the international NGO ‘Cool Earth’ who work to halt rainforest destruction, in an effort to offset the carbon footprint of our undertakings. If readers would like to donate to this very worthy cause, they can see our fundraising efforts here.

7. How can people follow your journey?

Please follow along on our journey from July through October on Facebook or on our website. We will have live bi-weekly updates from the road with Mid West Radio (96.1 FM), and if you’re curious where we are in the world, you can track our precise location online with our friends at

We wish the guys a safe journey to Mongolia and back!

Louise Power Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs

Interview With Louise Power, Manager At Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs

Louise Power is the Manager at Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs, based just outside Wexford Town. Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs specialises in crash repairs and the business also offers a 24 hour breakdown and recovery service. In this interview, Louise tells us more about her role and what goes on behind the scenes in a busy car repair workshop.

1. How long has Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs Ltd. been in business?

In January this year we celebrated being in business for 43 years.  Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs was established by Declan Power in 1975 in a small garage that he built at the back of his family cottage in Ferrycarrig, Wexford.

2. What sets Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs Ltd. apart from competitors?

We take a holistic approach to vehicle damage and repair. We are there for our customers through each step of a stressful journey. We recover vehicles from the side of the road day or night, rain or shine, and our qualified drivers deliver the vehicles to our secure facility in Ferrycarrig.

We can also give a full estimate free of charge because our computerised estimation system generates specific repair methods for each individual vehicle and insurance companies can have an estimate complete with photographs an hour after the accident has taken place.  This can speed the process along and mean less stress for the customer.

Customer satisfaction is a top priority for us. If required we can collect or drop off the customer's vehicle direct to their door, we can give a free courtesy car while your vehicle is being repaired, and we give a full lifetime warranty on all our paint work as well as a manufacturer’s warranty on all parts.

Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs
Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs offers a 24 hour breakdown recovery service

3. What would a typical day at the centre look like?

There is usually plenty of movement around the premises during the day. We have new cars brought in daily as well as people just dropping in looking for an estimate. Our panel beaters are usually busy doing a variety of different things from minor body repair such as repairing dents, scratches and small bumps, to more major repairs such as panel replacement and body jigging.  We have a large spray oven, which is a fully insulated room that removes dust and dirt from the air while vehicles or panels are being sprayed. This gives the ultimate finish to the paint work while at the same time it is kind to the environment because excess fumes are collected in special filters and not released into the environment.

Our day doesn’t stop at 6pm though, we are on-call for breakdowns or crashes 24/7 so we can also be seen on the roadside at minor crashes or more major incidents.  We have also been known to pull a few cars out of the dunes in Rosslare with some very red-cheeked passengers in the early hours of the morning!

4. What do you like about your role?

I like that two days are never the same. We are constantly meeting new people and facing new challenges on a daily basis.  Each repair job is different and brings new challenges and learning opportunities.  It’s great to see the satisfaction of customers when an imperfection that has been bothering them for some time has been repaired to appear like new again.  It’s also nice to know that we can make things a little easier on people when they have been in an accident and help reduce stress and get people on the road again as soon as possible.

Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs
Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs will return your car as good as new!

5. What's the biggest challenge in your business?

We unfortunately meet individuals and families at the most challenging times of their life.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to walk away from an accident without injury.  We strive to support people through difficult times by treating each individual involved and affected by the incident with dignity and respect.  We support each person without blame and assist as much as possible.  We assist the Gardaí and insurance assessors in their examinations of the vehicles and follow our confidentiality policy very strictly.  It can be very difficult to see the hurt and loss that people go through when they are affected by a road traffic accident, especially if they are people that you know.

6. What sort of things should the public look out for when choosing a centre to get their car repaired?

People should shop around and not necessarily go for the cheapest price, but for the best value for money service.  There are lots of panel beaters around but it's important to get your vehicle back on the road looking like there was no damage at all done to it. The paint should be flawless and the car should look like it did the day it came out of the factory.  All repair work should be done to such a standard that it is completely unnoticeable.  It’s also really great for people to come and get work done in a garage where we understand the demands of everyday life and how difficult it is to be without a vehicle.  That’s why we feel our offer to collect and drop off cars for work is really appealing to some customers.

Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs
The spray painting booth at Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs gives a perfect paint finish

7. How would you like to see the business grow and develop over the next five years?

We would like to gain a wider customer base over the next year and secure some bigger contract work, this in turn would allow us to take on more employees and grow.

We are big supporters of corporate social responsibility and would like to do more to support local charities over the next five years.  We would also like to take on a new employee through the Employability programme. This programme gives people with a disability a chance to get into the workplace with a little bit of assistance, on a part time basis to begin with.  We feel that we could give someone a new lease of life and some extra skills through this programme.

Thanks to Louise for taking part in this interview.

The Maserati GranTurismo at Titanic Hotel, Belfast

5 Things I Learnt From Driving A Maserati For A Day

The Maserati GranTurismo at Titanic Hotel, Belfast
The Maserati GranTurismo at Titanic Hotel, Belfast

1. The Maserati Levante SUV is as stirring as a sports saloon.

Like nearly all the premium manufacturers, Maserati has developed an SUV. The Levante is Maserati’s first SUV (available from £56,250) and it was launched in 2016. In Belfast recently I had the opportunity to drive the Maserati Levante S V6 Twin Turbo petrol with 430hp and 580Nm of torque. On our test route the Levante S made noises for me I never knew a SUV could make. It’s a sporty and athletic SUV with real heart. Very stylish too.

2. Maserati makes gran turismos, not sports cars.

According to Mike Biscoe, General Manager at Maserati GB, the Maserati is the car you take cross-continent with a partner and stop some place for lunch, whereas a sports car  is one that you drive on the limit and gives you ‘sweaty palms’. Well, this may be true of the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte saloons, but a ten minute stint in the GranTurismo gave me sweaty palms!

The Maserati Levante S in Belfast
The Maserati Levante S in Belfast

3. In 2007 Maserati only had three models.

Now they have five, including one SUV in the big growth segment. Maserati’s full range consists of the Ghibli (from £51,165) and Quattroporte (from £70,825) saloons, Levante SUV (from £56,250) and GranTurismo (from £89,888) and GranCabrio (from £95,275).

4. Maserati is the only brand that offers silk trims.

Some of the cars we drove in Belfast had beautiful Ermenegildo Zegna Silk interiors The Ermenegildo Zegna Silk interiors have 100% natural fibre Zegna mulberry silk inserts on the seats, door panels, roof lining, sunshades and ceiling light fixture.

The Maserati Ghibli
The Maserati Ghibli

5. Switch to Electric Power Steering (EPS).

The 2018 Quattroporte, Ghibli and Levante are the first Maseratis to get an electric power steering system replacing the hydraulic system of old, but retaining the 'razor sharp' steering feel associated with Maserati.

Click here to read my first drive review of the Maserati Quattroporte.

Honda Civic Type R

Me And My Car: Jim Millett's Honda Civic Type R

Jim Millett is a Changing Lanes reader from the UK. Jim owns a 2016 Honda Civic Type R. In this Me and My Car Feature, Jim tells us all about his Type R and why he chose this car.

1. Tell me about your car (Make/model/engine/year of registration). 

It's a Honda Civic Type R FK2 with a four cylinder 2.0 VTEC Turbo with 306bhp and 295lbft of torque. The car was registered in September 2016.

2. How long have you owned this car?

I purchased it new.

3. Why did you choose this car?

I needed a practical, sensible and reliable four seat hatchback. A Honda seemed to fit the brief. Also, the fact that it can do nearly 170mph and costs around £30k also helped. The styling is Marmite but I personally loved it and it certainly stands out. One test drive sealed the deal.

4. What do you like about this car?

The superb manual gearbox and seats are stand-out features. I love the slightly old school power delivery with a touch of lag, but when it hooks up, the power delivery is addictive. The handling and grip are incredible considering it has to deploy over 300bhp through the front wheels. I do love the styling...controversial I know!

Honda Civic Type R
Jim is impressed with his Honda Civic Type R's power delivery and superb manual gearbox
5. Is there anything you would change about your car?

Only one thing I would change...just wish it sounded a bit more aggressive considering it has four large exhaust pipes. However, I prefer this to the current trend of artificial piped-in engine sound and contrived pops and bangs. The Type R has a certain honesty and authenticity about it. Some people have stated it is too harsh in R mode for British roads...absolute rubbish. Nowhere near as hard as my old Clio RS200 with Cup pack!

6. What's in your glovebox?

Only three things in the glovebox...locking wheel nut key, handbook and one CD (Ten by Pearl Jam...showing my age).

7. Favourite memory of the car? 

My favourite memory of the car is driving the infamous EVO Triangle in Wales. Totally dry, empty roads...worth the journey just to drive this bit of road. Type R was in its element.

8. Who would your ideal passenger be?
Chris Harris so he can give me some driver tuition and then show me what the car can actually do.
Honda Civic Type R
Jim has happy memories of driving his Honda Civic Type R on the EVO Triangle but he would like a few driving tips from Chris Harris!
9. Three words to describe your car.

Fast, Raw....Unique

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

Richard Wright Car Photography

'Beast From The East' Car Photography

Richard Wright is a documentary photographer based in County Meath, Ireland. In this series of photos, the 21 year old documents his friends and their cars during the recent snowstorm that hit Ireland and Europe dubbed the 'Beast from the East'.

"These photographs are an accurate representation of the motor culture in County Meath," says Richard.

Richard says his photography has brought him across the world, most recently to India to cover the daily life of Indian citizens.

"In my photography, I focus mainly on people and their culture and emotion. I become deeply intrigued by different cultures and the emotional result," says Richard.

Here is a selection of Richard's car photography from the 'Beast from the East'.

Richard Wright Car Photography
(l-r) Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta and Opel Corsa. Friends arrive one by one to a quiet car park in Athboy, Co. Meath.


Richard Wright Car Photography
'DARE' alloy wheels on Matthew's Volkswagen Jetta, filled with snow and glistening in the morning sunlight.


Richard Wright Car Photography
Nathan's BMW 3 Series


Richard Wright Car Photography
Matthew's Volkswagen Jetta in motion


Richard Wright Car Photography
Waiting out the storm


Richard Wright Car Photography
The friends driving in convoy


Richard Wright Car Photography
Jack's Opel Corsa returns to the original meeting place

To see more of Richard's work, click here.


The Skoda Octavia petrol hatchback

Best Petrol Family Hatchbacks To Buy

I'm often asked by readers which petrol family hatchback should I buy? In 2018 I'm finding that many readers are facing a similar dilemma: they are all looking for an efficient petrol hatchback car. I haven't included every petrol hatchback on the Irish market but these are the ones that I would definitely be checking out if I was in the market for a new car.

1. Skoda Octavia 1.0TSI 

From €21,310

The Skoda Octavia is one of Ireland's favourite cars and it's no surprise: the car is priced so well considering how spacious it is. This car is really great value and it's available now with the Volkswagen Group's new 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 115hp.

The Skoda Octavia petrol hatchback
The Skoda Octavia

2. Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo

From €23,750

The new Honda Civic features an excellent 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 127hp. The Civic is spacious inside with a large boot and it's great fun to drive too.

Honda Civic petrol hatchback
The Honda Civic

3. Peugeot 308 1.2 PureTech

From €20,995

The Peugeot 308 range has just been facelifted and features Peugeot's award winning 1.2-litre PureTech turbo petrol engine with 110hp or 130hp. The 308 is also available as an 'SW' (estate) offering more boot space and rear legroom than the hatchback.

The Peugeot 308 petrol hatchback
The Peugeot 308

4. Volkswagen Golf 1.0TSI 110hp

From €23,095

The Volkswagen Golf is Ireland's bestselling hatchback for good reason. The new 1.0-litre Golf with 110hp is an absolute joy to drive.

The Volkswagen Golf petrol hatchback
The Volkswagen Golf

5. Toyota Auris 1.2 Petrol

From €24,250

Toyota is well-known for its hybrid range, but it still makes some very good petrol cars. The Toyota Auris is available with a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 116hp.

The Toyota Auris petrol hatchback
The Toyota Auris

6. Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost

From €25,175

The Ford Focus is due for replacement this year but it's still selling very well in Ireland. The Focus 1.0-litre turbo petrol EcoBoost with 125hp is fun to drive while also being a reasonable all rounder in other areas too.

Ford Focus petrol hatchback
The Ford Focus

7. Kia Cee'd 1.0 T-GDi

From €22,999

Kia's family hatchback goes a little under the radar but the Cee'd offers a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 120hp in the sporty GT Line trim, which is well equipped with sporty features.

Kia Cee'd petrol hatchback
The Kia Cee'd

8. Opel Astra 1.0 Turbo

From €21,750

The former European Car of the Year winner has a quality and connected interior with sweet handling, and the Astra 1.0-litre turbo petrol is smooth and peppy with 105hp.

Opel Astra petrol hatchback
The Opel Astra

Caroline Kidd