RAC urges IPT freeze

An RAC report has found that insurance premiums are the biggest cost concern for drivers.

Premiums are increasing at their fastest rate in five years and nearly half (46%) of the 1,714 motorists surveyed said their premiums had increased in the last year.

According to RAC data, the average premium rose by 14% in the 12 months to March, from £590 to £671 per year.

Meanwhile, some 41% of motorists said car maintenance bills had gone up, a slightly smaller proportion than last year’s 44%, and just 30% said their spending on fuel had gone up with seven per cent citing fuel prices as their top concern.

Away from cost, drivers said the state of the roads and drivers using handheld phones were their two main concerns.

RAC Insurance director Mark Godfrey said, ‘The cost of insurance has never ranked as highly among motorists’ concerns in previous years’ research for the Report on Motoring as it has this year, and neither has it featured as prominently in motorists’ assessment of increased motoring costs.

‘Insurance is, quite rightly, mandatory for anyone getting behind the wheel of a vehicle so increasing Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is really another tax, like fuel duty, and is an unwelcome addition to the already considerable contribution made by motorists to the Treasury.

‘With insurance premiums currently going up faster than they have at any other time in the last five years, we don’t want annual increases in IPT to become a feature of the Chancellor’s annual Budget and Autumn Statement. We would like an assurance from the Treasury that IPT will not be increased any further.’