'We expect 6,000 cars to take part in protest rally'
Kian Griffin can't get a break when it comes to motor insurance. He is a young driver and has a car that is more than 15 years old, so few insurers want to take him on and his premium is close to €1,000 every year.
The sheer cost of motor cover prompted the Kerry travel agent to organise a monster rally in Dublin next month to protest about soaring premiums.
Mr Griffin is 24 and works in Portman Travel agents in Tralee, but needs his car to travel to work as he lives in Killorglin.
He drives an 01 Audi A4.
"I got a renewal quote of €967 last month. I am used to paying around €1,000 a year because my car is 15 years old and I am a young driver.
"So I have not a hope of moving to another insurer," he says.
He is with Axa Insurance, but has no claims on his policy, no penalty points and has being driving for eight years. This, he says, makes him one of the many blameless victims of the motor insurance crisis.
So many drivers are interested in turning up for the rally on Saturday, July 2 that the rallying point has had to be moved from Kildare Street to nearby Merrion Square.
"We are expecting 6,000 cars from all parts of the country to turn up," he says.
With a likely average of three people per car, the rally could see between 12,000 and 15,000 turning up.
That would make it the biggest rally since the water charges protests. Mr Griffin says the website Ireland-underground.com, which is being used to co-ordinate the running of the protest, has had 80,000 hits in the last month alone.
He set up the website to discuss motoring issues but soon thousands of people contacted him about insurance costs.
"I've been told that some people are driving without insurance, simply because they can't afford it. And others are trying to carpool with friends.
"The hardest hit would be the under-30s. Having said that, I've been talking to 50- and 60-year-olds whose premiums have gone up 300pc or 400pc," he said.