'Confidence' Budget; insurance action call
Soaring car insurance costs could lead to people spending less on keeping their cars roadworthy and increase the likelihood of accidents, it is claimed.
In comments to coincide with the monthly new-car registration figures, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has called for urgent action on insurance and the re-establishment of the Motor Insurance Advisory Bureau.
It also appeals for a neutral Budget for motoring next week to help sustain the 42,000 jobs across the industry.
SIMI director general Alan Nolan said that with so many employed in the business and with €5bn in taxes collected by the industry, a Budget that "supports stability and lifts consumer confidence again" is needed.
He said spiralling insurance costs are unfairly burdening motorists and businesses. He described them as "a particularly serious issue in the case of younger drivers and those on lower incomes".
He added: "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, he said, the establishment of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board (MIAB) and its recommendations (2003) led to 'significant reductions' in premiums and improved the level of transparency about the factors contributing to insurance costs.
Meanwhile, SIMI's official car sales figures for last month show registrations fell by 1.4pc (4,698) compared with September 2015 (4,766).
Year to date new-car registrations are up 18pc (to 143,205) compared with the corresponding period last year (120,961). Light Commercial Vehicles are up 20pc (26,171) year to date.