Our comment piece in ‘Motors’ last week sparked a major response from readers over the choices facing motorists, including cheaper cars (imports) versus a cleaner environment?
The stream of emails reflects a high level of cynicism about the Government and uncertainty about what people should do or buy next.
Here is a small sample of what you, the motorist/taxpayer, is saying – and thank you to everyone who went to the trouble of voicing their views and opinions.
“Our Government seems just intent on the revenue side of things. Tax and vehicle revenue is not spent on the environment. It is used to fund other areas of the economy – perhaps a necessity for the short term, but not a realistically admirable set-up. VAT, tax and charges on new and environmentally friendly cars makes them prohibitively expensive for most people in the real world, even with grants.
“The lack of investment in renewable energy of any kind, never mind car-charging points, is an embarrassment internationally.”
“We pretend to want EVs and PHEVs but we don’t really, as the Government would lose too much revenue.
“But a good intelligent sit-down and think about the whole thing would, and could, reap huge dividends for both environment and national revenue. Wait till those huge EU fines for emissions start hitting us soon – which they will. Go green, but be intelligent about it as well.”
“My answer to your question – do we really care about the environment? – is ‘Yes’. But there is very little I can do about this in my current financial situation.
“I drive a BMW 320i petrol. I got rid of a diesel to switch to petrol since diesels are now ‘dirty’. My budget at the time was €5k. Doesn’t get you a lot but I wasn’t going to take out a loan for a newer car as I was, and still am, unsure of what way the car industry and our tax is going to be.
“There is no chance I will be able to buy a new enough car to get cheap tax or lower running costs such as an EV.
“There needs to be more incentives for used cars. Anyone who can afford a new car gets to benefit from cheaper motoring. I’d like to see incentives for used EVs.”
“The fear is that the Government could make drastic changes to the tax system. They should show us the courtesy – as they did not do in 2008 – of letting us know well in advance.
“I will continue to drive my 2-litre petrol import until I know what the Government has in mind.”
“I’m sticking with my Avensis diesel and not moving on until I know Government plans for sure. I’m staying put.”
“Just to let you know: our second car is an electric bicycle.
“Our next new-car buy, in 2020 in Ireland, will be a hybrid hopefully. It will not be an all-electric car because we don’t trust the Government to ensure enough charging points are in operation around the country
“We worry that (Transport Minister) Shane Ross will run our ebike (and eScooters) off the streets because there is no tax take on them.”
“The Government – really we taxpayers – is due to be hammered by the EC to the tune of possibly billions for failing to meet green targets.
“Car tax? I am being penalised for driving older cars that have penal tax rates. I drive a mere 10,000km a year between both old cars. I am actually being harshly punished for something I am not doing. The only way to tax is on fuel or power source.”
“I sure do care about the environment but cost will win out. If it’s not equitable or viable to buy greener how do you justify it?
“Should I really have to pay twice the price, or more, of all my previous cars to feel like I’ve made an ecologically sounder move?”