Motorists more concerned about cost of insurance than Gardaí policing roads

Motorists are more concerned about the rising cost of car insurance than Gardaí enforcing traffic laws, according to new research by the AA.

In a survey of over 8,800 motorists led by AA Motor Insurance, 92 percent say they believe the cost of car insurance to be the biggest motoring issue they’ll face this year. In contrast, just 50 percent feel the level of Gardaí activity on Irish roads is a prime concern.

“The rising cost of car insurance is a major frustration for Irish motorists and due to its legal obligation, motorists have no choice but to pay the costs,” says AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “We have seen an increase of almost 40 percent in under as little as 24 months which the AA regards as an unacceptable burden on motorists.

“Prominent, visible traffic policing is every bit as important though and is critical to road safety. The AA believes that the Gardaí remain committed to this task, but the Government need to ensure that Gardaí have the necessary resources to carry out their jobs. It’s also worth remembering that more Gardaí on the roads would see the cost of car premiums gradually decrease owing to a reduction in collisions, and subsequent claims.”

Road safety ranks as the second most common concern for motorists (87%), while the need to repair damaged roads comes in third (77%).

“It’s a sad state of affairs when the safety of road users is a secondary issue for motorists. This is exactly why we need leadership to be provided from the top level of Government to help stabilise the cost of car insurance. In the meantime, we must continue to promote road safety and responsible driving amongst all road users,” adds Conor.

Another area of concern for motorists is the rate of motor tax with 72 percent believing the charge to be “very important” in 2016.

Other issues important to motorists are: the cost of petrol and diesel (68%), the provision of improved public transport resources (49%) and vehicle registration tax (40%).

The AA research also finds traffic congestion to be a major issue for almost half of motorists (46%).

Motorists appear to be less concerned about the Government providing and improving facilities for cyclists, with just 32 percent deeming it to be a critical issue for the year ahead. Only 35 percent identify Irish Rail and Luas expansions as “very important” while a third are of the same opinion when it comes to building new roads.


Fig 1. Please indicate below how important you personally consider the following motoring issues to be in 2016. (Based on 8,831 responses via an AA Motor Insurance poll during March 2016)

NATIONAL Very important Somewhat important Neutral Not very important Not at all important
The cost of petrol & diesel 68.39% 25.27% 4.68% 1.30% 0.37%
The rate of motor tax 71.75% 22.68% 4.23% 1.00% 0.33%
The cost of motor insurance 92.41% 6.39% 0.92% 0.15% 0.13%
Vehicle registration tax 40.00% 32.01% 20.77% 5.09% 2.13%
Road safety 86.96% 9.58% 2.93% 0.37% 0.17%
Traffic congestion 45.80% 39.58% 12.15% 2.05% 0.42%
Garda presence / level of Garda activity on roads 49.92% 33.64% 13.05% 2.61% 0.77%
Repairing damaged roads (e.g. potholes) 77.14% 19.13% 3.09% 0.51% 0.14%
Constructing new roads 33.28% 41.93% 19.37% 4.46% 0.96%
Providing / improving cycle facilities 31.88% 31.46% 24.41% 7.52% 4.73%
Constructing new rail infrastructure (i.e. Irish Rail, Luas) 35.42% 33.87% 21.88% 6.11% 2.72%
Providing improved public transport resources 48.59% 32.60% 13.76% 3.30% 1.75%

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