Insurance bills tumble whilst other motoring costs increase


The AA might say that year-on-year car insurance rates have dropped by a sizable margin, but there are other costs waiting in the wings for weary drivers.

The latest British Insurance Premium Index from the motoring organisation says that the last 12 months saw motor car insurance costs plummet by an unheard-of 14.1 per cent, something that hasn’t happened in the history of the AA keeping track of such figures. The price drops have been traced to car insurance companies responding to incoming new legislation that could heavily curtail fraud through spurious whiplash injury claims and a highly competitive marketplace.

This is of course rather good news provided the bottom doesn’t fall out of the market and car insurance prices don’t start to come back up. Even if they don’t though there’s still plenty to worry about according to other independent research released this week which revealed that the ancillary costs of owning a car – like road fines – have been on the increase.

There were in excess of 1.3 million fines handed out to motorists for minor offences in the 2011-2012 year, the research said, which was a jump of 16 per cent year-on-year. More than £135 million was collected from these unfortunate drivers. This sounds to me like a very blatant ploy perpetrated by local authorities to generate revenue, especially when many of these fines were given based on evidence captured by traffic cameras set up in questionable spots, though of course such allegations are almost categorically denied by councils whenever an accusation is brought up.

Now maybe I’m just ignorant but I thought that our roads were actually getting safer as of late, what with evidence suggesting just that that based on the fact that the number of yearly accidents has gone down significantly and rather consistently. Considering road fines are designed to deter motorists from driving like madmen, this seems counter-productive to me. In other words it’s almost as if local authorities are trying to punish drivers for being safer in an effort to fill their coffers. If this turns out to be true then I don’t know if there’s anything anyone can actually do about it besides simply grouse and complain a bit. Whatever your fate just try to keep your nose clean when it comes to your driving record!

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