Councils in Northern Ireland have spent more than £165,000 since 2015 on a total of 10 cars for mayors, including two with personalised number plates.
The figures were obtained by lobby group TaxPayers’ Alliance through the Freedom of Information Act.
Antrim and Newtownabbey council spent £48,421 on an Audi A8 3.0 Quattro SE, including £691 on a personalised number plate reading ‘AN15 BOR’. The figure includes leasing costs and fuel expenditure.
The next highest spend by a council in Northern Ireland was by Derry City and Strabane council – £41,774 on a Ford Vignale and a Ford Mondeo. This figure also included £600 on personalised plates reading DC03SDC and DC04SDC.
Other expenditure included £36,187 from Belfast City Council on a Peugeot 607 executive, a BMW 7 series, and a BMW 730 series.
Across the UK, since 2015, councils spent £4,513,607 on cars for mayors, and their equivalents. Nine councils across the UK – including the two in Northern Ireland – spent money on personalised number plates, whilst others purchased them many years ago.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers are tired of hearing local authorities say they have no money left when there are still instances of excessive spending.”