WHIPLASH REFORM DELAY COSTS BRITISH DRIVERS £1.3 BILLION IN EXTRA CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS

Published: 11/08/2020
  • Whiplash reform would have reduced insurance premiums by an average of £35 but has been delayed until April 2021 
  • comparethemarket.com is calling on the Government to give an amnesty on insurance premium tax to younger drivers which adds an estimated £126 to the cost of cover for 17 – 24 years olds 
  • One in five young drivers have stopped using their car as they can no longer afford to run it 

11 August 2020 – The Government’s delay in the implementation of its whiplash reforms has cost British motorists £1.3 billion in extra car insurance premiums, according to research by comparethemarket.com.

The Ministry of Justice announced in April that the implementation of the whiplash reforms as part of the Civil Liability Act would be delayed for a second time from 1 August 2020 to April 2021, back from an original date of 6 April 2020, citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for further delay. The legislation would have taken around £35 off average premiums. However, the delay has meant that premiums remain higher than they should be.

In addition, following multiple hikes to the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rate, the average motor insurance premium is around £75 more expensive because of the tax. This increases significantly to £126 among young people (aged 17 – 24) who already pay the highest because they are considered riskier drivers to insure.

This follows recent research from comparethemarket.com which found that one in five young people have stopped using their car as they can no longer afford to run it as a result of the coronavirus. Young people have been most affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus with 37% of the age group expecting to be made redundant or have to take a pay cut – the highest of any age group.

Cars can be essential to secure and maintain a job. The research found that over half of young drivers believe that not being able to afford to run their car will negatively impact their ability to get a job, while almost 60% say that it will negatively impact their ability to get to work.

To help ensure that young people are able to stay on the road, comparethemarket.com is calling on the Government to support younger motorists by providing an IPT exemption on motor insurance premiums for 17 – 24 year olds.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at comparethemarket.com said:

“The whiplash reforms were hailed as a great way of reducing excessive motor insurance premiums for motorists. However, the two delays in implementation have meant that car insurance premiums have remained higher than they should be, equating to £1.3 billion in extra costs. For many young people who are facing a perilous financial outlook, driving may be seen as a luxury that they can no longer afford despite the fact that many rely on their car to get to work and ultimately keep their job.

“It is essential that action is taken to support motorists who are struggling with the cost of cover. Providing an exemption to IPT for 17 – 24 year olds would give immediate support to many young people across the UK, reducing their premiums by an average of £126. For those looking to reduce their insurance costs further, switching providers remains to be the best way to save money.”

Notes to editors

comparethemarket.com was launched in 2006 and has grown rapidly over the past 14 years to become one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites.

comparethemarket.com provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice for them on a wide range of products including motor, home, life, travel and pet insurance as well as utilities and money products such as credit cards and loans.

comparethemarket.com actively works with its brand partners to help provide great services to customers.

comparethemarket.com and comparethemeerkat.com are trading names of Compare the Market Limited. Compare the Market Limited is an insurance intermediary, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number 778488) and is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority for the provision of payment services (FRN: 911617)