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Tag Archives: diesel

Freight group warns against USC change

The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has maintained a proposal to replace Ireland’s Universal Social Charge (USC) with a rise in the cost of diesel “is senseless and would hit the price of food, consumer goods and public transport”. FTA Ireland’s pre-budget submission to the Department of Finance called for retention of USC as an employment tax, but with a progressive increase in the income level at which employees are asked to pay the 5.5% rate. Ireland remains a heavily indebted country with a massive hole in its social welfare pensions fund. In the last week, the Department of Finance has floated alternatives to USC such as a rise in diesel prices and increased property tax. FTA Ireland says the replacement of a progressive tax on income with an increase in diesel prices is fiscally illogical. FTA Ireland General Manager Neil McDonnell said: “The cost of goods, services and travel for work and leisure are heavily influenced by the cost …

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Volkswagen is in trouble over its diesel exhaust emissions.

Emission impossible

It’s unusual to see a motoring story dominating the headlines, and when it happens, it’s usually bad news. The Volkwsagen emissions debacle is without question one of the biggest stories of the year and already it has caused a lot of grief, with the company’s stock price having taken an enormous hit. That’s not the end of the story though – this one will run and run and may become even bigger as we understand more about it. But what did happen exactly? To get some background, members of the Irish Motoring Writers Association went to DIT in Bolton Street earlier this week to learn about the technologies behind emissions systems and get a feel for what had happened in America. It may come as a surprise to most, but the initial tests marking the start of this saga took place in 2014. An independent lab wanted to demonstrate the cleanliness of modern diesel engines so they carried out real …

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The SEAT Leon X-Perience in the early morning frost at Brook Lodge in Wicklow.

Are you X-Perienced?

To lightly paraphrase the words of the late Jimi Hendrix – Are you X-Perienced? Well I am, as I’ve driven the Leon X-Perience, the first 4×4 ever produced by Spanish firm, SEAT. The Leon is now their best selling model, so it makes sense to start from here, although we’re told that this particular model is only the first of a number of four wheel drive cars which will come onto the market over the next few years. The X-Perience is based on the ST or estate model and for this particular application, the looks have been suitably machoed up with more rugged bumpers, black roof rails and crucially for off-road ability, a ride height raised by 30mm. To take advantage of the extra ground clearance, grip is enhanced by a fifth generation Haldex four wheel drive system, which normally sends all power to the front pair of wheels. As conditions dictate, though, up to 90% of torque can instantly …

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A marker against fuel fraud

THE Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTA Ireland), has welcomed the announcement by the UK and Ireland governments that they are to introduce a marker that will help tackle fuel fraud. This has to be good news to help reduce fuel laundering,” the organisation general manager, Neil McDonnell said. The product will be used to mark rebated fuels, including the off-road diesel commonly known in the UK as ‘red diesel’, in a move that will boost both countries’ fight against illegal fuel laundering. The marker will help HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Irish Revenue Commissioners tackle the criminal market in off-road diesel, marked with a red dye in the UK and green in Ireland, and also kerosene primarily used for heating oil. Neil McDonnell commented, “FTA welcomes any effort such as this to tackle fuel laundering. The costs of fuel laundering to the exchequer, to fair competition, to the environment are simply too high, and are not being …

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Nissan's new Qashqai made an appearance in Ennis.

Qashqai arrives in Ennis

There was an opportunity to get a sneak preview of the new 2014 Nissan Qashqai recently, when the car arrived at Dulick Motors for one day only, as part of a national tour in advance of the car’s January launch. While it’s clearly an evolution of the current Qashqai, up close, the new car is a lot more defined and seems to be sharper and more masculine as a result. The interior is a big step up from the old car, with higher quality materials and a fresh new look. As I reported last week, this new Qashqai features a whole host of up-to-the-minute technology, some representing a class first. Most buyers will choose a diesel, of course, with the option of a 1.5 or 1.6 litre unit. A competitive petrol option, a 1.2 litre DIG-T, will also be offered and for lower mileage or urban drivers, this could be an ideal choice. Deliveries will start early in 2014 and …

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The Jaguar XF is a tempting option in the executive car sector.

Jaguar XF is a class act

There was a time when Jaguar was seen as an old man’s car and a rich, old man’s car at that. Time moves on and the XF, in particular, was instrumental in changing people’s perception of Jaguar. When launched, this mid-range executive car was as modern as anything else on the market. With great handling and a sublime interior, it quickly became a real alternative to the established German executive alternatives. I’ve already tested the 3.0 litre, with its creamy V6 diesel, but lately, this model has been joined by a more affordable 2.2 litre unit. Given our car tax rates, this version will be the more practical option for most buyers. Straight away, what strikes is the interior, which conspires to be both comfortable, luxurious and elegant in a way only Jaguars seem to manage. This being the base model, I was slightly disappointed to find that the seats were only half-leather, a decision that seems surprising, given that …

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