€16.8million of Irish taxpayers’ was spent on a new set of Garda vehicles

€16.8million of Irish taxpayers’ was spent on a new set of Garda vehicles

Last year, €16.8 million of Irish taxpayers' money was spent on a new set of Garda vehicles.

The €16.8 million figure exceeded the 2020 amount of €16million, with reports suggesting that a majority of it had been used up in acquiring new cars for the police force during last year's pandemic period.

Last year, the Irish government had to pay a whopping €16.8 million for new Garda vehicles - the highest amount spent on this in 14 years.

Through Freedom of Information requests, it was discovered that a total of 454 vehicles were purchased in 2021 - with the breakdown consisting of 403 cars, 35 vans, four 4x4s, and 12 motorbikes. This year's vehicle expenditure is the highest to date since records began in 2008 - amounting to double the figure spent in 2020 which was €8,082,427.

The Gardaí vehicles hit a record number of €16.8 million in 2021, surpassing their 2020 figure of €16million which saw an investment in new vehicles amid the pandemic. For maintenance, fuel, tyres and towing-related expenses, they recorded another high figure of €20.4 million this year.

Last year, the Gardaí had a total of 3,312 vehicles in service – out of which 1,256 were more than six years old. The Cork City District alone had 107 out of 2,517 marked and unmarked cars. That constituted approximately a third of all cars in use.

The DMA North had 94 cars and DMR West had 90. The Traffic Division of the DMR had the least number of cars, at 19; Clare was next with 34.

Motorbikes are commonly used in various regions throughout the country. Dublin Castle's DMR Traffic division had 36 of them, while Garda vans were more visible in the Galway Division. Altogether, 129 motorbikes have been deployed around Ireland.

By the end of 2022, Wexford had seen a decrease of 202 vehicles from their original fleet number of 8. The highest level of removals occurred during September with 44 units being taken off the roads.

Last year, 3,332 vehicles were employed by officers and an overwhelming majority of them (85.7%) were diesel. Only 42 cars (1.3%) ran on electricity while 43 (1.3%) used hybrid unleaded and the rest 13 0.4% had plug-in hybrids engine.

Among the vehicles used, Hyundai was the most popular choice with 1,622 models in use. Ford had 488 models while BMW and Audi trailed behind them with 162 and 97 respectively.