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Car sales down as insurance premiums out of control

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry’s (SIMI) official car sales figures for the month of September which saw 162 registrations decrease by -1.4 per cent (4,698) compared to September 2015 (4,766). Total New car registrations year to date are up 18 per cent (143,205) ahead on the same period last year (120,961).

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) are up 20 per cent (26,171) year to date, while the month of September has seen a slight increase of 3 per cent (1,634) in comparison to the same month last year (1,582).

Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) registrations, have recorded a 16 per cent increase for the month of September (213) 2016 when compared to September last year (184), with registrations up 38 per cent year to date (2,646).

Motor insurance premiums rise 71.3 per cent in three years

Commenting on the figurers SIMI Director General Alan Nolan said: “Despite the continuing reduction in the overall cost of motoring, the significant increase in the cost of motor insurance premiums for consumers and for businesses must now be a serious concern across all sectors.

Since 2013 Motor Insurance Premiums have increased by 71.3 per cent and in the past 12 months alone, increases have been running at 38.6 per cent. With further significant increase in premiums predicted, this will continue to unfairly burden motorists and businesses, and is a particularly serious issue in the case of younger drivers and those on lower incomes.

  Our experience of previous periods of high insurances costs suggest that car maintenance will reduce, increasing the risk of accidents and the incidence of uninsured driving is also likely to increase. In the past when we had similar problems the establishment of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board (MIAB) and its recommendations (2003) delivered significant reductions and improved the level of transparency in relation to the factors contributing to insurance costs.

  SIMI is calling for the re-establishment of the MIAB as a matter of urgency. We commend the work of the recent Oireachtas Committee hearings and the current CCPC investigation.

However immediate wider-ranging action is urgently needed. In this regard while we await the re-establishment (hopefully) of the MIAB, the Society also feels that the CPCC’s Consumer section should undertake out a general review, from consumers’ perspective, of motor insurance premiums seeking to highlight the issues, including underlying costs, which give rise to the current high level of motor insurance premiums and to make recommendations to the Minister in order to ameliorate the situation.

Recent reviews of insurance costs in the UK, has seen their motor insurance premiums fall to levels that are now lower than three years ago.”