Our awards

MMAI members vote annually in the Irish Car of the Year awards, Ireland’s most prestigious and widely-recognised motoring accolades for over 40 years. A panel of our members with experience in commercial vehicles also vote for Irish Van of The Year.

The aim of our Award is to recognise excellence and signpost the best new vehicles in several categories to guide the Irish consumer in their research and purchase of a new car or van.

We use our professional judgement and experience to award the best new cars and vans introduced to the Irish market during the eligible period. The Awards typically take place in November. To be eligible, new generation cars and vans must be in dealer showrooms by the 31st October each year. After this date, vehicles will be considered for the next year’s awards programme. 

Since 2010, Irish Car of the Year and Irish Van of the Year have been sponsored by Continental, the tyres and automotive technology multinational company.

Annual Automotive Awards Irish Car of the Year and Irish Van of the Year in Association with Continental Tyres

How It Works

Before voting begins, our members are invited to take part in Refresher Days that bring together all the eligible cars and vans for testing. Jurors use these days to test vehicles again, side by side, to help inform our voting.

There are a number of criteria vehicles must meet to be eligible. A list of eligible vehicles is compiled and verified before being split into categories.

Category winners are announced at a gala event attended by journalists and motor industry executives. An independent adjudicator is appointed to calculate and verify the results. The winner from each category goes on to compete for the overall title of Irish Car of the Year and Irish Van of the Year.

Irish Car of the Year Winners

2024: Hyundai Ioniq 6

2023: Volkswagen ID. Buzz

2022: Kia EV6

2021: Not held

2020: Kia e-Soul

2019: Volvo XC40

2018: Peugeot 3008

2017: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2016: Ford Mondeo

2015: Nissan Qashqai

2014: Citroën C4 Picasso

2013: BMW 3 Series 

2012: Kia Rio

2011: Nissan Juke

2010: Peugeot 3008

2009: Citroën C5

2008: Ford Mondeo


2007: Honda Civic

2006: Suzuki Swift

2005: Ford Focus

2004: Toyota Avensis

2003: Mazda6

2002: Renault Laguna

2001: Opel Corsa

2000: Toyota Yaris

1999: Ford Focus

1998: Citroën Xsara

1997: Peugeot 406

1996: Volkswagen Polo

1995: Opel Omega

1994: Ford Mondeo

1993: Toyota Carina E

1992: Opel Astra

1991: Fiat Tempra

1990: Renault 19

1989: Fiat Tipo

1988: Toyota Corolla

1987: Fiat Croma

1986: Ford Granada

1985: Opel Kadett

1984: Fiat Uno

1983: Ford Sierra

1982: Ford Escort

1981: Datsun Stanza

1980: Fiat Ritmo

1979: Volkswagen Derby

1978: Volkswagen Golf (Diesel)

Outstanding Service to the Industry Award

Mercedes-Benz Public Relations Officer, Don Hall, awarded ‘Service to the Industry’ at Irish Van of the Year. Group picture caption: Anthony Conlon, Irish Van of the Year Committee, Tom Dennigan, Continental Tyres Ireland, Don Hall, Hall Public Relations, Darragh Keany, Irish Car of the Year Committee, Tony Toner, Irish Van of the Year Committee.

The Outstanding Service to the Industry Award is presented by the MMAI at the annual Irish Car of the Year/Irish Van of the Year awards.

The aim of this special award is to recognise the exceptional contribution of individuals working in the Irish motor industry. These people are thoughtfully selected by our members for many different attributes – from their hard work, service and professionalism, to their kindness and courtesy.

We are deeply honoured to award them at our gala event among their colleagues and peers.

Past recipients

  • 2024 Award: Denise Harris (Harris Group)
  • 2023 Award: Aidan Doyle (Kia)
  • 2022 Award: Don Hall (Hall PR / Mercedes-Benz)
  • 2020 Award: Anne O’Leary (Ford)