Voice of the Customer

Drivers have named car insurance as their biggest cost concern as premiums increase at their fastest rate in five years, according to a report.

Almost half (46%) of the 1,714 motorists surveyed for the RAC Report on Motoring said their insurance costs had increased since last year compared with 34% who said the same in 2015.

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

Some 41% of motorists said car maintenance bills had gone up, a slightly smaller proportion than last year’s 44%.

Just 30% said their spending on fuel had gone up, despite it generally being the biggest contributor to annual motoring costs, presumably as a result of people driving more as fuel prices are lower than last year.

Just 7% of drivers listed fuel prices as their top concern in this year’s report, down from 10% 12 months ago.

Overall, the cost of insurance came third in the ranking of motoring concerns, behind the condition of local roads and drivers using handheld phones.

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.”

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