About the Awards

The Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year awards is the most comprehensive automotive awards programme in Ireland. The awards are designed to:

  • Reward and recognise the best new cars and vans of each year
  • Showcase new automotive, mobility and safety technology
  • Inform the car-buying public about the best cars for the Irish driving environment

The programme has been running continuously since 1978, when the inaugural Irish Car of the Year awards were held. There are currently a total of 11 categories within the awards programme, plus the overall title, as follows:

  • Irish Car of the Year (overall winner)
  • Compact Car of the Year
  • Medium Car of the Year
  • Large Car of the Year
  • Compact SUV of the Year
  • Medium SUV of the Year
  • Large SUV of the Year
  • Green/Efficient Car of the Year
  • Performance/Luxury Car of the Year
  • Hot Hatchback of the Year
  • MPV of the Year

The current Irish Car of the Year for 2020 is the Kia e-Soul.

The awards are spearheaded and judged by a group of 34 of Ireland’s foremost motoring journalists representing the Irish Motoring Writers Association (IMWA) and the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

Each year, the judging panel assesses all new vehicle models that have been launched in Ireland before shortlisting a selection to go forward into the awards programme.


The Irish Car of the Year event takes place towards the end of each calendar year once all contenders have been assessed and shortlisted for the awards. 

Awards night is the most prestigious event on the Irish automotive calendar, bringing together representatives of all leading Irish car brands, importers, distributors, mobility providers and other stakeholders together with the cream of Ireland’s motoring media – from print, broadcast and online outlets – plus special guests.

2020 event

The Irish Car of the Year 2020 event took place on 7th November 2019 in The Westin hotel in Dublin.