Young, and need car insurance?

There is a rising clamour from the green lobby to cut our dependence upon the motorcar, which they claim is destroying our towns and cities; and to be realistic there is some considerable justification for this view. Have we truly looked at the alternatives, however?

At the end of the 19th century most of our transport was still horse-drawn, and before anyone claims that that is environmentally friendly, we will just have to accept that it was anything but! If we first look at the noise pollution; fair enough the sound of iron rimmed cartwheels grinding of the roads could be alleviated a little bit by using pneumatic tyres, but what about the sounds that the horses make, not only from their constant clip-clop of their horseshoes, but also the whinnying and neighing that went on? And please don't think that we could tolerate the smell any more; sweaty horses themselves are not exactly fragrant, but their excrement is something else, not only in quality but also quantity! It has been estimated that an average horse in the 19th century passed around 24 pounds of manure a day, which had to be swept up from the streets and, somehow, disposed of; against this the internal combustion engine is sweetness and light itself.

The government does appear to be intent upon driving we motorists off the streets, however, with ever rising taxation. Petrol prices now reaching heights that can make grown men weep and young men rebel; insurance costs have now reached the stage in which huge numbers of people simply cannot afford to pay their policies in advance any more, as they would always do so in the past. There has been a large and growing demand for 'no deposit' car insurance schemes (see here) for the last 2 to 3 years.

The largest section of the motoring public who are buying their insurance on a monthly basis and those under the age of 25. This is hardly surprising, considering that the cost of a fully comprehensive insurance policy for young man in his early 20s could very easily exceed three, or even four, thousand pounds a year. This type of horrendous figure is way beyond the means of the majority of youngsters who are most likely to be among the lowest paid, and many of whom are saving hard for a home of their own. It is perhaps a little wonder that so many youngsters have turned to driving without any insurance at all, and estimates claim that around one in 20 of the drivers on our roads are uninsured.

No deposit schemes have proliferated recently, but this is not really something to celebrate. Not only do the insurance companies charge extra to people who pay monthly, but it also gives them an opportunity to increase premiums generally, since an extra 10 per week can seem like a lot less than extra 10 on the initial premium! Nevertheless, even though insurance companies are now bringing in record amounts of money for their car policies, the majority are not even managing to make a profit on this income, thanks to increased fraud and larger claims. These larger claims are driven not so much because more vehicles are being damaged, they are more expensive to repair, but because in many cases people are simply claiming for injuries that either do not exist, or whose affects have been grossly exaggerated. Before we can expect insurance costs start falling people who are prepared to defraud insurers and this is exactly what they are doing will have to be taught that it simply is not an acceptable way of behaviour.

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