The cars of Cape Clear

The cars of Cape Clear

Cape Clear Island, or Oilean Chleire, is only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, but it’s only 40 minutes by ferry to the mainland so it’s fairly easy to bring out vehicles. In fact, I saw many more cars on the island than I did on my last trip.

As you may have guessed by the photo above, once the cars get here, they really don’t go anywhere else, and many of them are in a bad state of repair. On a previous trip, my father and I were driven up a very steep hill above the harbour in a multicoloured VW Beetle that was literally falling apart with rust. I’ll post a photo of the hill in a few days.

There also isn’t a police force on the island. I don’t think cars here are insured or taxed and you can forget the NCT ..

Apart from the two taxi vans sitting on the quay when we arrived, the newest car was a 1999 model. The oldest was a 1986 Renault. The taxis were had 2004 reg plates and in good condition.

I’d love to how or why the van in the far background got to the Island. It looks abandoned now.

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s




  1. Reply
    neil September 23, 2008

    The way I understood it, no NCT is required out there so people buy cheap wrecked cars from the mainland that otherwise would have been scrapped, but the Taxis, being licensed Public Service Vehicles, must be to a good standard of maintenance

  2. Reply
    Donncha September 24, 2008

    NCT isn’t required in Blarney either.. At least, judging by the NCT badges (or lack of) in car windows around here!

  3. Reply
    Matty September 28, 2008

    They must have speed cameras on the island, though. Surely.

  4. Reply
    Paula November 21, 2008

    Speed camera’s Matty??! Brakes would be a fine thing….
    The van in the background arrived the same way everything else does – on the boat. It is ‘abandoned’ now and is being used as a store-house.

  5. Reply
    anoymos September 7, 2009

    that us my car it is still running to this day and who cares about nct or insurance we dont have it on our cows soo why have it on our car 😛

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