SIMI Addresses Market Failings? New Used Car Website -

I noticed in the past few days that the SIMI have published a beta version of their new used car website at The tagline reads 'The Used Car Website You Can Trust' and the overall message throughout the site is one of 'Quality Assured Used Cars' only.

Expanding Niche

The number of websites offering sellers (private and dealer) advertising services is growing continually. Only last week launched a new cars portal, and sites like and are chock full of advertisements, and the classified ads segment seems to be expanding daily with new entrants like ready to slash prices to grab market share. So will be able to survive in such a competitive space?

Industry frustrated with 'rogue sellers'

Reading through the site I found this quotation from the warranty information page interesting:

SIMI Quote
SIMI Quote

Here's the plain text extract of (my) highlighted text in that image:

As an industry, we have become increasingly frustrated (as we know you have) with the lack of a quality assured used car website for Ireland[...] No more wondering what consumer protection you have as you pick your way though the private and rogue sellers that can appear on other sites.

I'm not sure that it's fair to put private sellers in the same bracket as 'rogue sellers'. Granted, when looking for a used car you have very little protection under the law when buying privately but that's not to say (if you follow certain guidelines) you can't pick up a great car at a great price.

Increasingly Sophisticated Buyers Armed with Sophisticated Tools

Buyers are much more experienced these days with a growing number insisting on a full Motorcheck report before committing to a purchase. The number of people taking advantage of our full technical inspection continues to grow, and our experience tells us the vast majority of private sellers are completely legitimate.
While it's great to see the industry doing more to protect the consumer I can't help but wonder will the new site have what it takes to make an impact with Irish buyers?

Ray Hall - December 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm
I have looked through this site and yes it is visually very well constructed and quite functional. Its problem is going to be how will anybody find it? Google ads will work for a while but cost a fortune. TV advertising will work only as long as the advert is on the TV, the same is true of Radio. It's not available to the public to advertise on. With the number of Car websites available at a much lower cost to the Dealer, will this be a viable alternative to Carzone ( I don't think so)? Will it be as well optimized as Cars Ireland and Cars for sale Ireland ( not likely )? Will the content in it be found in Google searches ( definitely not )? Overall, in my opinion it will do little other than take more cash from the hard pushed Car Dealers and under perform just as their other previous attempts failed to make an impact. However I wish them all the best.
Shane Teskey - December 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm
Thanks for the comment Ray. As you point out visibility to search engines is important and requires significant expertise and patience. Standard advertising will probably prevail here in the sort term. I expect that you will see '' posters in SIMI members showrooms and the usual promotional links from their websites. It will be interesting to see if the site begins to feature for 'used cars' on / (not currently on the first 10 pages).
Ray Hall - December 29, 2009 at 4:40 am
Hi Shane, Standard advertising will work in the short term, but a site needs time to grow. I know its not finished but it has validation error problems on every page and that certainly wont help it to grow. Please read the BEEP BEEP DIFFERENCE QUOTE : "Each and every vehicle on this website is guaranteed to come from an Irish dealer who is a member of the SIMI (Society of Irish Motor Industry). No more wondering what consumer protection you have as you pick your way though the private and rogue sellers that can appear on other sites" Does this mean all the other dealers in the country are Rouge dealers?
Suzanne Sheridan - January 08, 2010 at 5:52 pm
While there are hundreds of used car websites on the market, is the only website in Ireland that attaches a vehicle history check and warranty information against every single car advertised. In order to be a member of SIMI, high standards must be met therefore, only those who adhere to these strict standards and have signed up to the SIMI's Code of Ethics will be allowed to advertise on the site. So, if a customer does have any issue with any member garage, the SIMI offers a free complaints service.
Shane Teskey - January 10, 2010 at 11:52 am
Hi Suzanne, Thanks for your contribution. Congratulations on getting the site up and running. Anything that helps the consumer in buying a used car has to be a good thing! I've been through a number of the listings on site but can't seem to find where the vehicle history check is attached. Could you point me in the right direction? Did you know that has been providing car history checks for all their vehicles for over nine months now?
John - January 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm
I was interested to read Suzanne's blog that in order for dealers to be a member of SIMI they must adhere to strict and high standards. I searched for a dealer in Dublin and the very first one advertised on their site sounded familiar - sure enough when I googled them it transpires that they have been caught selling clocked cars on more than one occasion in the past including one quite recently which was the subject of an RTE documentary. If that garage is still a member of SIMI does that mean they condone clocking and if so are all their members allowed to carry on this practice? It sure does put doubt in my mind about and it's members and their so called high standards.
Shane Teskey - January 28, 2010 at 12:43 am
Thanks for the comment John. While I don't know what action the SIMI is able to take when an accusation of car clocking is made against one of their members, I do know that they take the offence very seriously. As a case in point, Motorcheck and SIMI are currently developing a link whereby our respective mileage databases could be shared in an effort to stamp out this illicit practice.
Patrick Skelly - February 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm
I have to laugh whenever I read that members of the car buying public in Ireland can be assured when buying a car from a SIMI member. My story is very simple, I bought a second-hand car from an SIMI member thinking my purchased was backed up by SIMI. However, when things started to go wrong with the car and I got nowhere with the car dealer, I followed the complaint procedure set out by SIMI. I provided SIMI with independent proof that the car I purchased had a falsified service history and was clocked. This proof was in the service manual and I know I should have made more thorough checks before I handed over nearly €20,000.00, but I felt safe because I was buying from an SIMI member. When things stated to go wrong I decided to thoroughly checkout my car’s history and it was then I found out the service book had false service entries and false mileage. In my detailed written complaint to SIMI, I provided them with a copy of the service log showing the false service enters and the false mileage. Not only that, but I also proved SIMI with a “signed” letter from a garage that was entered into the service log book as having serviced my car months before I purchased it with more miles on the clock that what was on the clock when I purchased the car. I also provided SIMI with written proof showing that their member had lied to me about three different garages their member claimed had carried out gearbox work on my car but these three garages said they did not carry out any gearbox work on my car. You have to remember that I provided independent written proof to SIMI of what I am saying here so it was not hearsay on my behalf. With all the written proof I provided to SIMI, guess what decision they came up with? They said their member acted responsibly and fair with their offer to repair the car . SIMI totally ignored the fact the car had a false service history! SIMI totally ignored the fact the car had a false mileage! SIMI totally ignored the fact that I had already given their member many, many opportunities to repair the continuos dangerous problems with my car. SIMI ignored the fact that their member lied to me about three different garages who was supposed to have carried out expensive gearbox work on my carry, yet all three garages denied they done the work and I had provided letters from these garages stating that fact. The simple fact that the car I purchased from a SIMI member was clocked and had a false service history should have been enough for SIMI to instruct their member to refund my money but SIMI didn’t do that. They said it was an independent panel who make the decisions. If that is the case, then I would suggest that SIMI put in place a proper system of dealing with complaints because even to this day, almost two years later, I am still not over what I went through for two years trying to get this issue resolved. After listening to what Alan Nolan said on that recent TV3 programme, really got my blood boiling. He and his organisation ignored the mountain of written independent proof I provided to them so they could protect their member. When I hear Alan Nolan and other SIMI representatives advising members of the car buying public to only buy from a SIMI member because you have consumer protection, well, in my direct personal experience of dealing with SIMI, their organisation does not protect the consumer.
alan callery - January 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm
i have to agree with Ray the new beepbeep website is pretty poor. does anyone know how much the dealers have to pay to be on it?
Shane Teskey - January 28, 2010 at 1:27 am
Hi Alan, I haven't come across any definitive pricing. It'll probably be around the 150 euro a month mark I'd imagine. Worth a punt?