The premature scrapping of roadworthy vehicles must be ended, Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin has said.
Senator Mulherin said the growing trend in scrapping older cars is being driven by insurance companies that are universally refusing cover or quoting exorbitant premia for vehicles that are ten years old or older.
Senator Mulherin has called for an investigation into the matter and has invited the Minister with responsibility to come before the Seanad to discuss the issue.
Senator Mulherin said: “Tens of thousands of roadworthy vehicles are being prematurely scrapped every year. It is a growing phenomenon.
“The rate at which it is happening this year means there will be a 129% increase on the number of vehicles scrapped last year. In 2017, 77,375 vehicles were scrapped and it is predicted that 139.308 will be made redundant by the end of 2018.
“The premature scrapping of road worthy cars is not driven by a road safety issue per se, because all ageing vehicles on the road have to have an NCT, but by the fact insurance companies are universally refusing cover or quoting exorbitant premia for vehicles that are ten years old or older.
“The consequence is it is not economically viable to insure them and people have to replace their vehicles. Something doesn’t add up.
“From an environmental point of view, it takes a lot of energy and carbon emissions to produce a vehicle.
“We have an NCT system in place to ensure vehicles are roadworthy. If we accept a vehicle is roadworthy, we have to be concerned if cars are being put off the road by insurance companies because it does not suit their agenda.
“Many people who have older vehicles cannot afford to buy newer vehicles.
“In rural Ireland a car is not a luxury, it is a necessity because we do not have public transport. When many youngsters get their first car, they get an older vehicle. The issue has to be examined.”
“I am calling for the Minister of State, Deputy Michael D’Arcy, to come before the Seanad and deal with the series of insurance related issues that have been raised in recent weeks,” Senator Mulherin said.