New deal for non-weekend young drivers (The Irish Times)
Young drivers who agree to leave the car at home at night and in the early hours of the morning at weekends are to be offered lower insurance premiums under a new initiative.
The scheme will see drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 offered a reduced price if they don't drive between 10pm and 6am on Friday and Saturdays, the most dangerous times for road deaths. In 2006, drivers under-25 accounted for 37 per cent of fatalities and 25 per cent of injuries, but represented only 9 per cent of all insurance policyholders.
Between 9pm and 3am - the hours most associated with drinking and driving - 99 people were killed in crashes in 2006, or 27 per cent of all fatalities. Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays were the worst days of the week for crashes, accounting for 57 per cent of all deaths.
The new insurance policy is to be introduced by XS Direct Insurance, targeting young motorists who use their cars primarily to commute to and from work during the week.
The company claims young drivers can save up to €1,000 per annum on their premiums.
In an example given by the company, a 21-year-old male civil servant, on a provisional licence and living in Dublin, with a 1.3 litre Ford Fiesta will pay €1,658 a year with the new scheme. The policy carries an excess of up to €4,000, which means motorists would pay up to this amount from their own pockets in the event of any claim. While the policy is intended to discourage weekend and late-night driving, policy holders will, if necessary, be insured to drive at any time of the day or night. If the insured vehicle is driven more than 100 metres between 10pm and 6am on Friday and Saturday, the policy holder will be charged €50.
Drivers will be monitored by a small GPS tracking device fitted to the car, which will monitor the time of usage only. Any charges that are incurred are charged through direct debit.
"This scheme will have a positive impact on road safety, encouraging younger drivers to leave the car at home at these high-risk times and take a taxi or get a lift instead," said the MD of XS Direct Chris McCann.
This policy carries a high excess of €4,000 for male drivers and €2,000 for female drivers.