Guide to buying a car in Dublin
You must have heard about how it rains every day in Dublin and the weather is terrible on most days, if you didn’t then you probably moved from the UK or Antarctica or grew up with penguins. Asians definitely love the weather here – since most Asians hate the sun with a passion.
At some stage, if you decide to buy a car to ‘avoid’ that terrible weather or to explore the countryside – make sure you have researched well and know everything about car ownership in Ireland.
Expats who own a car in Dublin are seen as legends and seasoned warriors who have navigated through challenges like car insurance in Dublin, NCT, Tax Discs, parking Discs, honest car dealers and more honest garages who will swiftly take whatever you have in your wallet to change that wobbly tyre.
Out of all the different pleasures you would derive out of driving on the wild atlantic way or speeding on the M50, remember that there is a cost to pay and you might soon find yourself selling the car as it becomes a white elephant.
5 essential tips for buying a car in Dublin – The Dublin Expat Car purchase Guide – Buying your first car in Dublin – Call it the Dublin car ownership checklist!
1. Car Insurance cost in Dublin – Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Ireland has one of the highest car insurance costs in Europe. And that is for Ireland born, Irish driving licence holders. If you are a foreigner, be prepared to pay an arm, leg and possibly your liver and lungs too. Your previous insurance and driving history is conveniently ignored and not considered by insurance providers in Ireland. It is not uncommon to be quoted an annual insurance premium that is more than the cost of the car ! Dublin car insurance is expensive and nothing short of a legal robbery !
Example – A 2006 VW Passat that costs 3500 Euros, was insured for a 2200 Euro/Year premium for a driver with a full clean EU driving license issued 10 years ago. DIGEST THAT.
Our tip – if you are a Non EU citizen – go for www.clements.com , it is an expat insurance service that has tied up with AIG in Ireland and can offer the same insurance for less than half of what Irish insurance providers quote. Also, check with private individual insurance brokers who will find a better deal for you.
2. Car NCT – NCT in Dublin is the National Certification Test, a fitness/road worthiness test for all automobiles in Dublin/Ireland. Basically, they take your car for a shakedown and check all bells & whistles and if you are a potential danger on the road because of the state of your vehicle.
NCT is done annually for cars older than 10 years and once in 2 years if your car is younger than that. It costs 55 Euros to get an NCT done and 28 Euros for a retest if you fail and come back after fixing the reasons why you failed in the first place. Most foreigners will have their NCT failed the first time they go – because of some trivial reason they would have overlooked (like width of digits on number plate).
Our tip: When buying a car, always try to buy a car with a valid NCT in Dublin. If the car has an expired NCT, there could be an unfixable problem due to which the car is being sold. Don’t take chances unless you are keen to adopt a white elephant.
More information - https://www.ncts.ie/
3. Tax Discs for cars in Dublin – All cars pay an annual motor registration tax and in exchange you get a colourful circular piece of paper called the tax disc. It has the date till which your motor registration is valid. You can pay online and this is one of the easiest parts of car ownership.
Important thing to note is that the tax changes based on the ENGINE SIZE of the car – so the smaller the engine size – the lower the tax rates. This also affects the resale of cars – High end cars with big engines (2000 cc and above) fetch a lower resale value. Dublin car tax prices are on the higher end when compared to rest of Europe.
Our tip: Pay the taxes annually rather than quarterly to get a discount.
4. Parking Discs – These are permits for parking on the street in your neighbourhood. The parking permits are issued by Dublin city Council and you need to submit documentation of your proof of residence to get the permit.
Our Tip: Look for a parking space in a building near your place or check if someone is renting a spot within your building. This can save you a lot of hassle and you can pay monthly.
5. Accident check – Always check if the car has been involved in an accident previously. Most seasoned car fanatics will know if a car is extensively repaired. Unfortunately, most expats who move to Dublin are IT/Finance/Medical professionals who know close to nothing about that and are prone to being cheated. Some garages are known to repair damaged cars and sell them as ‘as good as new’.
Our Tip: A Good mechanic who you know through a personal reference will charge 50 Euros and can go inspect the car with you before you buy it. If you don’t know a mechanic, call us and we will refer one to you.
Thankfully transferring a car to another person's name is quick and easy - Every car registration certificate has a transfer leaflet which can be filled up as you pay and mailed to a central office ( by just dropping the form in any post box). The transfer process takes about 4-5 working days and you will recieve your new registration certificate via post on the address you mentioned on the transfer form. Car registration transfer process is free.