The motorist: 'I have a lot of friends who never learnt to drive because they could not afford it'
Hairdresser Sara Leamy (31) fears she will be facing yet another hike in her motor insurance premium this year.
She paid €900 last year for her car insurance, but her bill looks likely to increase again. Yesterday she was quoted €1,100 for fully comprehensive cover by one insurance company.
The mother-of-one said her insurance is due to be renewed in August and she will get a number of quotes, but she has noted a trend that her premiums have gone up in recent years. She was not expecting such a hefty bill with all her driving experience. Ms Leamy drives a Volvo.
"I have had my full licence for 12 years and have no penalty points," said Sara who runs her own salon Sahaira on Fairview Strand on Dublin's north side.
Even though she has been driving since her late teens, she believes her insurance may be a bit higher than it would have been because she went travelling a couple of times in her 20s.
"Therefore I would have cancelled policies before the full year was up," Ms Leamy said.
However, she added: "Now I have five years' no claim bonus."
She said the costs of running a car are high, "paying the guts of €1,000, and then your tax on top of that".
"I have a lot of friends that don't drive," she said. Ms Leamy pointed out they have never even learnt to drive because the insurance costs were so high when they were 18 or 19.
"If I was to only learn now how to drive, because I have a baby it would be a nightmare. I would be paying €2,000 probably in insurance and I wouldn't be able to drive.
"I think it should be taught in schools," said Ms Leamy, whose son Boone is 16 months old.
The business owner said she noticed a few years ago that her motor insurance had risen sharply when new EU guidelines had come into effect.
These meant insurance companies were banned from taking gender into account when calculating premiums. "Obviously claims are on the rise," she said.