123.ie Car Review reveals The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in car market

- Survey shows Audi is the most desirable car in Ireland

- 38% of people planning to change their car in 2016

- Of top brands Kia considered the least stylish; Renault least reliable

If budget were no issue, Audi is the car brand that most drivers in Ireland would choose.

In the 123.ie Great Irish Car review, which surveyed almost 6,300 drivers in Ireland, 44% cited Audi as amongst their favourite cars.

BMW was the second most popular at 41% followed by Mercedes (34%) and Landrover (25%). The Toyota brand fared out well with a favourable mention from 24% of respondents.

The 123.ie Great Irish Car Review covered a range of issues including favourite and least favourite car brands, satisfaction levels for reliability and performance, views on motoring fines and penalty points for the wealthy. The study also looked at the likelihood of changing car in 2016.

UNRELIABLE RENAULT

When asked about the leading car brands they would be least likely to buy, Renault was top of the pile by far with 25% of respondents stating that they would not consider buying the French car brand. No other car came close to Renault in the unpopularity stakes and Kia was the second least popular with 11% stating that they would not consider a Kia.

Respondents were then asked for their view on the cars they would be least likely to buy under specific categories:

Not reliable: Renault 46%, VW 30%, Opel 26%

Not stylish: Kia 31%, Nissan and Skoda both 30% and Seat 29%

Bad resale value: Kia 37%, Renault and Seat 36%

Padraig O’Neill, Head of Marketing at 123.ie said, “In addition to Renault, Kia and Opel also have a bit of work to do in terms of winning over new customers based on what car owners in Ireland are saying about their brands.”

SKODA TOPS FAMILY SALOON MODELS

When it comes to choosing a family car, 85% of owners of a Skoda Octavia are satisfied with their vehicle. The Skoda beat off competition from both the VW Golf and Toyota Corolla by 3%. “Skoda has turned its image around completely,” said Padraig O’Neill, Head of Marketing at 123.ie. “There was a time when people were almost ashamed to admit they drove a Skoda, but Skoda owners have proved themselves pretty savvy when it comes to cars getting fuel economy, sturdiness and an attractive looking model for a great price.” Those surveyed expressed particular satisfaction with Skoda Octavia’s reliability, comfort, extras, fuel economy and performance.

Also ranked in the top five preferred family saloon models were the Renault Megane and BMW 3 Series.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR 2016

 

The survey revealed good news for the motor industry and Padraig O’Neill said, “The findings from the Great Irish Car Review indicate that almost 38% of drivers are thinking of changing their car in 2016. This is in line with economic forecasts that predict an upward trend in car sales, which is to be expected following many years of stagnant growth. The second hand market is particularly buoyant and of those considering changing their car in 2016, 28% will opt for a new car, 70% for a second hand vehicle and 2% will choose an import.”

Interest in diesel cars is on the rise. Whilst 48.5% of respondents currently drive a diesel, 67% of those considering changing their cars would now opt for a diesel – an increase of almost 20%. Almost 51% of those surveyed are currently driving a petrol-fuelled car but interestingly, just 28% stated that they would choose petrol again. Fewer than 1% of those surveyed are driving a hybrid but interest is also increasing for this category, with 4% citing interest in making a hybrid purchase.

MALE STEREOTYPING

Male stereotyping came in to play somewhat when it came to the luxury car range; almost one in four men (24%) included Jaguar in their wish list if money no object, versus just 14% of women. 16% of men aspire to driving a Ferrari, whilst only 8% of women showed any interest in owning the famous Italian sports car. Porsche proved a popular brand amongst one in every five men (20%) with only one in ten women expressing a similar interest.

The survey showed that women demonstrated a preference over men for two car brands only, Jeep (12% v 7%) and Mini (8% v 4%).

FINES MATCHED TO WEALTH STATUS?

The 123.ie survey also examined the issue of graduated fines for driving offences including whether wealthy drivers should face higher fines when they are caught speeding. It appears that drivers in Ireland are not in favour of graduated fines, as mooted by the Road Safety Authority in December 2015, with over three quarters of respondents (78%) stating that neither fines nor penalty points should be related to a person’s income.

The 123.ie Great Irish Car Review was carried out online in December 2015 amongst 6,255 car owners in Ireland.