Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central Pádraig O’Sullivan says small and medium car dealers in Cork are losing sales because they cannot get Vehicle Registration Tax certificates because of severe backlogs in the system.

There are six week waits for registration and dealers say this is having a major impact on their business.

Deputy O’Sullivan explained, “The motor industry has been hit hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with year on year car sales down a massive 83.7% in May, according to the latest CSO figures. Dealers were able to open their doors last month in a bid to boost sales ahead of the 202 plates coming on stream in July but backlogs in the VRT system are forcing customers to reconsider.

“I have been contacted by a number of dealers who say the six week wait for VRT is having a hugely detrimental impact on them. Cars cannot leave the forecourt unless they have been registered and the long backlogs in the system are turning people away. People want to be able to drive their new car as soon as they can – not wait over a month before they can take it home.

“Car dealers cannot register the car without having it tested. I am calling on Revenue, along with the test provider APPLUS, to increase the number of tests being carried out in the short-term to relieve the current backlog and help improve sales. At the moment, there are only two testers in Cork – that is simply not enough under the current circumstances.

“Small and medium businesses need to be given more supports to ensure their viability and allow them to continue to trade through this crisis. They do not need more bureaucratic obstacles being put in their way. The current situation must be addressed so that car sales can proceed without unnecessary delays.

“Time is of the essence and these businesses simply won’t survive if they are forced to wait too much longer”, concluded Deputy O’Sullivan.