Car rental firm warns of rising insurance concerns

Pre-tax profits at one of the largest independently-owned car rental firms in the country, the Dan Dooley Motor Group, soared 64% last year to €1.8m.

Newly-filed accounts for the Tipperary-based group show its revenues increased by 41% to €32.75m in the 12 months to the end of last November.

The group operates car hire facilities at the country’s main airports and operates a garage and car sales dealership in Knocklong, Co Limerick and Tipperary town.

According to group chief executive, Pat Dooley: “The Dan Dooley Group had a strong year of growth in 2015 with operating profits of €2.26m, up from €1.56m a year earlier”.

“This growth in profits was driven, in part, by a continuing growth in the car rental division revenue base and more significantly by the incremental revenue generated from the sale of new and used cars,” he added.

Mr Dooley added that during the early part of 2016, performance was in line with the 2015 experience; however there are a number of factors which could impact performance going forward.

“The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is likely to have a negative impact on car sales going forward driven by the ongoing weakness of sterling.

"Spiralling insurance costs in Ireland and the exorbitant claim costs, driven by the general claims culture in Ireland is a real cause for concern for the car rental industry,” he added.

Mr Dooley said that “the car rental division continues to grow on the back of a growth in tourism across the country.”

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