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01 Oct 2022

Kilkenny motorists driving over €4million worth of written off ‘zombie’ cars

Kilkenny motorists currently driving over €4million worth of ‘zombie’ cars

File Photo

Over €4million worth of 'zombie' cars are currently being driven around Kilkenny, according to recently released data from 'MotorCheck.ie'.

A zombie car is a salvaged and/or written off vehicle imported into the Republic of Ireland from the UK but not correctly identified as insurance write offs or ex-salvage.

The company found that over 39,336 of such vehicles had been imported into the Republic of Ireland.

At today’s values, the market value of those affected is €4,400,316 in Kilkenny alone and €318million across the Republic of Ireland.  

Examples of zombie cars were found for sale both privately and on dealers’ forecourts.

The research conducted by Motorcheck represents a potentially serious safety concern and financial liability.

Motorists are warned about this issue and the risks associated with buying a used car in the Republic of Ireland.

Despite the introduction of new Brexit linked import charges, the number of vehicles imported from the UK to the Republic of Ireland remains high.

In 2021, over 83,000 vehicles have been imported with a total of 457,000 coming across the water over the past 4 years.

In an effort to understand the prevalence of zombie vehicles amongst those being imported, MotorCheck embarked on the largest single cross border analysis of vehicles ever carried out between the Republic of Ireland and the UK. 

Historically, car history check companies have depended upon the UK’s MIAFTR database to expose cars that have been classed as a write off in the UK.

However, as the database is voluntary, and not used by all insurers, it can’t be relied upon for a definitive answer. 

Due to the weakness of the current system, it’s possible for vehicles to be repaired and exported to the used market in Ireland before the UK’s official database can be updated.

This allows unscrupulous sellers to target Irish buyers – selling directly to unsuspecting private buyers or traders at inflated prices.

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