John Collins of Sean Collins Motors Ltd in Drimoleague sees first-hand the impact that crippling insurance costs have on young drivers – and consequently on his own business.
‘It’s so difficult for young drivers starting out. They have to get a car that’s minimum 2010 or else they won’t get a policy as first-time drivers, so that costs around €5,500.
‘And insurance on top of that is around €4,000 to €5,000. So that’s around €10,000 before you even get started. And, of course, costs like that are going to effect my business.’
John, who hasn’t had a claim in 50 years, says his own insurance costs are rising a few percent every year and his current annual cost is around €6,500.
But it’s the young drivers he has most sympathy for.
‘I really pity them. I see them either getting loans or a dig-out from their parents. Sales to younger drivers have definitely taken a dip. The situation would be so much better if only they could get policies for older cars that have their NCTs, but insurance companies won’t do that for first-time drivers.
‘The situation needs to be sorted out big time. It’s very hard to understand where it’s all coming from but there really is no talking to insurance companies. Independent TD Michael Collins is constantly raising the issue in the Dail, but it’s falling on deaf ears.’