Teenager quoted €18,693.90 to insure a 14-year-old car

Quote described as ‘outrageous’ and a tax on rural Ireland

The 18-year-old from north Leitrim sought a quote which would allow him to drive a 2004 1,4 Ford Fiesta

The 18-year-old from north Leitrim sought a quote which would allow him to drive a 2004 1,4 Ford Fiesta

 

A teenage provisional driver has obtained an insurance quote for €18,693.95, which included a €100 discount, for applying online.

The 18-year-old from north Leitrim sought a quote which would allow him to drive a 2004 1,4 Ford Fiesta.

Leitrim councillor Padraig Fallon described the quote from AA Insurance as “outrageous” and he said it amounted to another tax on rural Ireland.

Cllr Fallon raised the issue at the Manorhamilton Municipal District meeting of Leitrim County Council this week.

He said young people in rural Ireland were trapped in a “vicious circle” where they needed to learn how to drive, but could not get a quote which would allow them to go on the road.

Cllr Fallon said he first highlighted the issue of insurance premiums when a man in his 50s that he knew could not obtain a reasonable quote, which would have allowed him to operate a hackney/taxi service in north Leitrim where there is demand for such a service.

He said the driver in question was told that he needed two years experience as a taxi driver before getting a quote in a “Catch 22” situation. Eventually he got a quote for €7,000, which would have made such a service economically unviable.

The insurance quote
The insurance quote

‘Essential’

He was later contacted by young drivers to state that they were being quoted between €4,000 and €8,000 for car insurance, in many cases a multiple of what the car was worth.

“It’s not right. There are no trams, buses or Luas lines in north Leitrim. Car transport is essential in rural Ireland. There are two cars in most houses. A lot of people travel to Sligo or Carrick-on-Shannon for work,” he said.

Cllr Fallon said he received a call from the teenager who had been quoted nearly €19,000 for insurance after highlighting the cost of insurance for young drivers.

“I said to him, ‘did you have an accident? Do you have a clean licence?’ He told me that he did,” he said.

Cllr Fallon said he had seen a copy of the insurance quote but the teenager involved did not want to be named.

“He still wants to get insurance somewhere,” he said. “How is he going to learn or gain experience if he can’t get insurance?”

Cllr Fallon pointed out that some insurance companies are offering lower premiums if motorists do a limited amount of mileage. However, individuals are finding it hard to remain within those limits in rural Ireland.

Insurance Ireland said insurers make decisions based on driver’s experience, the type of vehicle, its engine size and its age, but the weighting of each is a factor for each company.

The representative body for the industry said it cannot comment on individual cases, but added that the biggest cost factor in motor insurance is the cost of the claims paid by insurers.