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What is the Average Mileage per Year in Ireland?

Monday, October 10, 2022


Have you ever wondered what is the Average Mileage per Year in Ireland? Here at, we always try to provide useful information and tips to young drivers, along with low priced car insurance quotes. 

There is no precise number, so the answer to this question is a little tricky. By the time you reached six figures in mileage, it was commonly believed that the car's primary components would be worn out and require pricey repairs after approximately 160,000 kilometres or 100,000 miles. That's just not true anymore. In Ireland, the average reliability on mileage of cars has dramatically improved over the years.  

How important is average mileage per year in Ireland 

The development of considerably more accurate technologies for vehicle design has enabled auto manufacturers to assess how long a component will last. The majority of a car's vital parts, such as the engine head, block, injection system, valves and camshafts, alternator, and so forth, are known to have durability for about 300,000 kilometres.

Whereas Volvo always boasted on finding the secret to improve the average mileage of their cars and claimed its primary components lasted for more than 400,000 kilometres over many years, and those were kilometres driven through colder climates like in Ireland.  

Less expensive parts will typically last for more than 160,000 kilometres before they need to be replaced. These days, brake pads and discs, tyres, filters, and wipers are most cars' only genuinely delicate components. Even light bulbs are becoming more dependable; according to widespread consensus, new LED lights only need to be replaced if they have sustained impact damage. If not, they ought to last the entire life of the vehicle.  

In Ireland, a vehicle with a lot of average mileage on board has probably had better maintenance over the years. A select few vehicles are known to have travelled more than one million kilometres (or
miles), and these are now, in most cases, regarded as revered classics.  

In contrast, a car that is only one or two years old and has fewer miles than the average vehicle, could be in worse condition than a Volvo with the 300,000 km. For instance, a 3-year-old car that covered an average mileage of 15,000 km per year can be in a poor mechanical state simply because the owner neglected to keep the vehicle adequately maintained.  


The official average annual mileage in Ireland  

This is care. It refers to how well a car has been maintained. Cars with high mileage but a service book filled with stamps and a stack of receipts for services it’s an ideal option for a used car purchase.  

Therefore, don't believe any ads for used cars that boast about low mileage. That is almost entirely unimportant.

Avoid buying a car with little mileage but a shady past. In fact, the mileage reading is only helpful in determining the vendor's honesty; a vehicle with ostensibly low mileage but a worn-out steering wheel, scratched seats, and other tell-tale evidence of severe wear and tear indicates that the seller is not honest. For more information you can check our blog on car maintenance tips.  

But let’s have a quick look at some relevant statistics related to the average mileage per year in Ireland, provided by the Central Statistics Office:  

Average mileage Ireland per year 2019

- In 2019, about 1.4 million (1,390,586) automobiles took the National Car Test (NCT). After one or more tests, 97.0% of those cars passed, while 50.0% failed the initial test.  

- The total number of kilometres driven by vehicles with an Irish license in 2019 was 47.1 billion. This means that in the year 2019, the average car registered in Ireland recorded a mileage of 16,867 kilometres. 

- If we're only considering private cars, the average mileage in Ireland in 2019 was 16,352 km.

- In 2019, National Car Test results by test centre for year ending recorded 1,349,052 cars received their licence.  

Average mileage Ireland per year 2021

- Road traffic volumes have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021. In 2021, Irish licensed vehicles travelled a total 41.9 billion kilometres, compared with 36.2 billion kilometres in 2020 and 47.1 billion in 2019.  

- This means that in the year 2021, the average car registered in Ireland recorded a mileage of 14,434 kilometres. So each vehicle travelled, on average, 14,434 kilometres in 2021, meaning we have witnessed a decrease of 14% compared with 2019 (pre COVID-19 pandemic).

- Private cars accounted for over 78% of the total number of licensed vehicles and 72% of the total distance travelled in 2021. On average, private cars had a mileage of 13,436 kilometres in 2021 in Ireland, a decrease of 18% compared with 2019 (pre COVID-19 pandemic). 

Fun fact: we asked ChatGPT the question "What is the Average Mileage per Year in Ireland?" and the aswer was far off the official statistics but the AI bot included a disclaimer saying it doesn't have access to the most up-to-date information. Apart from the usefullness of ChatGPT for marketing, the AI tool shows its limitations when it comes about official data and statistics.


What is NCT?  

Road Safety Authority states the NCT ensures that vehicles over four years old are periodically subjected to a basic safety check as a preventative step for improving road safety. It is your duty to keep your car safe and operational when it is used in a public setting, not just when the NCT is due.  

Private vehicles must pass a roadworthiness test when they turn four and then every two years until they turn ten. After that, they must undergo annual testing. They return every two years at age 30 and are excused from testing starting at age 40. In accordance with the 2017 Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations, testing is mandated on a regular basis. Click here for more information.  

If you're unsure when your car needs an NCT, you can check the NCTS website and our blog with tips on preparing for NCT. You can choose to receive SMS or email reminders of exam due dates.  

NCT certificate in Ireland and mileage readings  

On your NCT certificate, up to three prior odometer readings are printed. Potential purchasers now have easy access to previous readings, which should help prevent odometer fraud, often known as "clocking."  

In Ireland, odometer readings can offer us an excellent indication of a specific vehicle's condition, a vehicle that is older and has less mileage than a newer vehicle with more mileage may require less maintenance.

The people who ride in the car are put in danger when tampered odometers cause owners and mechanics to believe a vehicle has less mileage and consequently needs less maintenance. 

An NCT certificate will be given to you whenever you pass your NCT with good scores. This certificate will be accompanied by your NCT windshield disc.  

You should safeguard your certificate because:  

- you may be asked to show it to a member of An Garda Siochána since it is legally necessary;  

- it demonstrates that your car complied with a number of fundamental standards at the time of the test.  

Do not forget that your NCT certificate is not a guarantee. The only things in your car that are tested are the ones you can see and reach.

You are responsible for ensuring your car is safe to drive every day of the year, not just when the NCT is due.  

NCT Voluntary Early Test  

Moreover, vehicle owners can now choose voluntary early testing. Owners of vehicles may submit them for testing sooner than 90 days before the NCT deadline. The term "voluntary early testing" refers to this.

Where this occurs, the car will be given a certificate good for two years (or one year, depending on how old the car is) starting from the new date it passes the test. To be eligible for voluntary early testing, the vehicle must pass the NCT before the 90-day mark before the test's due date. Click here for more information.  

At, we want to ensure that all our drivers are safe on Irish roads and have access to cheaper car insurance. If you want a great young driver insurance or need more information, reach out to us today! 

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