123.ie Car Review



 - Audi remains most popular car brand in Ireland

 - 68% support 30km city speed limit

A survey of almost 4,000 car drivers in Ireland by 123.ie has revealed that Audi is the most desired car brand in Ireland; white is the least popular car colour; most people support the 30km/h Dublin city speed limit and almost 62% of the population is frightened by driverless cars.

The annual 123.ie Irish Car Review, carried out by one of Ireland’s leading car insurers, revealed that Audi once again topped the poll as the brand that most drivers in Ireland would choose, if budget were no issue. BMW and Mercedes ranked second and third respectively; one in ten drivers would choose a Land Rover, whilst 7.5% of drivers would channel their inner James Bond in an Aston Martin.

Renault least popular car; Nissan least attractive

Renault was once again selected as most disliked of the leading car brands sold in Ireland, with 26% of drivers saying it is the car they would least consider. Kia (12%) and Seat (also 12%) were a distant joint second

At the other end of the scale, Toyota (3%), Hyundai (4%), Ford (4%) and VW (4%) escaped notice and by default are brands that consumers find attractive. They also happen to be the best sellers.

The research pointed to Renault’s poor reputation; Seat and Kia’s bad resale value; the unattractiveness of Nissan models and the bad personal experience afforded by Ford.

Respondents were invited to state why they would be unlikely to buy from the leading car brands under specific categories:

  • Poor reputation: Renault (65%), Seat (48%), Skoda (45%)
  • Bad resale value: Seat (46%), Kia (45%), Skoda (39%)
  • Bad personal experience: Ford (41%), Opel (36%), Hyundai (28%)
  • Unattractive: Nissan (56%), Kia (47%), Skoda (44%)

Audi was considered dear to buy and maintain, but its high reliability rating lead to a very strong satisfaction rating amongst Audi owners. In fact, all German car brands including Audi, Mercedes and BMW scored high satisfaction rates with their owners.

Research also consistently points to drivers in Ireland demonstrating high levels of brand loyalty, but after Audi (90%), Skoda (87%), Mercedes (80%) and Toyota (80%) owners emerge as the most brand loyal.

At the other end of the scale, Opel and Peugeot owners are the least happy of all car owners and demonstrate some of the lowest levels of satisfaction (81% each).  When it comes to brand loyalty Opel (54%), Nissan (54%) and Peugeot (57%) have the poorest brand loyalty indicating that satisfaction does indeed end up in loyalty!

Two thirds support 30km speed limit; two thirds fear self-drive cars

When it comes to safety and self-drive cars, almost two thirds say they would feel frightened in an autonomous vehicle and a small majority, (51%) would not feel safe sharing the road with a car that was not fully under the control of the driver. “These results come as no surprise as most of us have never experienced an autonomous car, so it’s something of an unknown entity. However, the predictions are that autonomous cars are the future but that the future will be upon us sooner than we think,” said Padraig O’Neill, Head of Marketing at 123.ie.

More than two thirds of drivers in Ireland say they support the introduction of the 30km speed limit on residential streets throughout Dublin, which, says Padraig O’Neill is a ringing endorsement of public support for tough but practical measures aimed at tackling road safety issues.

White cars a no no for drivers in Ireland

People are also influenced by colour with black being the most popular for 29% followed by silver (22%), blue or navy (14%) and one in ten people would choose a red car. White cars didn’t fare out so well in the 123.ie Car Review for 2017, emerging as the least popular car colour for 30% of respondents, followed by maroon and red (both at 17%).

Bluetooth essential according to Ireland’s drivers

Technology influences people’s choices in every facet of life and that includes the choices made by drivers in relation to the technical specification of their cars. Bluetooth ranks as the most important technical feature for almost 60% of drivers and adaptive cruise control, which assists with avoiding collisions by keeping the car a safe distance from traffic ahead is considered more important than a digital dashboard (54% V 48%).

Petrol engines on the way out?

More than a third of drivers are planning to change their car this year and whilst this might sound like positive news for the new car market, 64% are considering buying a second hand model.

Almost half of those surveyed are driving a diesel-engine car but, with diesels attracting a lower motor tax rate than petrol engine models, two thirds of people say they will now look to buy a diesel next time round.  With consumers continuing to seek out value and savings, it will come as no surprise that the majority (92%) say that the motor tax rate is an important factor in deciding which engine type to buy.

Irish drivers are a savvy lot and 60% recognise the value offered by UK imports. Notwithstanding,  only 3% of respondents looking to change their car this year will actually choose an import.  The majority of drivers will go through a dealer for their next car (75%) and almost a fifth will opt for a private purchase. “While the value offered by a UK important is very tempting, we can assume from the survey that it’s also a hassle and that dealerships offer an easier, more direct option for car buyers,” said Padraig O’Neill.

The next phase of survey results, to be released in February, will identify the most annoying habits displayed by drivers in Ireland and will reveal who the public thinks are the better drivers - men or women.

The 123.ie Irish Car Review for 2017 was carried out online in December 2016 amongst 3,999 car owners in Ireland.