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insurance rip-off ‘I was quoted €7,946 for insurance as a learner driver. In Scotland, I pay €580’

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After being quoted nearly €8,000 for car insurance in Ireland, Leah Doherty was insured in Scotland for less than €600

After being quoted nearly €8,000 for car insurance in Ireland, Leah Doherty was insured in Scotland for less than €600

After being quoted nearly €8,000 for car insurance in Ireland, Leah Doherty was insured in Scotland for less than €600

A young motorist who was quoted nearly €8,000 to be added to her mother’s insurance policy has accused insurers of taking advantage of learner drivers.

Leah Cosgrave (21) was “shocked” at how expensive it was to become a named driver on a 2019 car in Ireland.

Ms Cosgrave, who is from Dublin, recently moved to Scotland to study nursing. She bought a car there at the start of the year and insured it for just over £500. She is due to sit her driving test in Dundee next month.

Before leaving Ireland, she had completed all 12 of her essential driver training (EDT) lessons and enquired about getting insured on the family car before sitting her test.

The cheapest quote she received was for €5,000, while one insurer quoted her €7,946.

“It made me put my driving on hold,” she said.

Ms Cosgrave says many of her friends have been turned away from learning to drive due to the huge costs involved.

Since moving to Scotland, she “couldn’t get over” the fact most young people she met were fully qualified drivers.

“I have my own car insurance policy here and it was £500 (€582) for the whole year, and that’s as a learner driver. Everything is cheaper; rent is cheaper, insurance is cheaper... I just find everything is 10 times more expensive at home.

“After being quoted so high, I lost interest in driving. Then the pandemic pushed everything back too, but I’m having a much better experience over here.”

Other Irish motorists have reported seeing an increase in their premiums this year, despite the fact the number of claims are down and Ireland endured three lockdowns.

Jonathan Scales, from Co Louth, received a small hike in his premium. He refused to pay more as the car was “barely on the road for over a year, we’ve a 14-year no claims bonus and the number of claims are down”.

Mr Scales received a €6 rebate from his insurer last year as a result of the pandemic and accused them of trying to “make the money back”.

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“Our premium was quoted €17 more, which isn’t a lot, but it’s the principle,” he said.

“We told our insurer we wouldn’t be renewing with them. The bizarre thing is it’s my wife’s car and I’m the named driver.

“If she took me off the policy, the insurance goes up. Nothing about insurance makes sense.”

The Alliance for Insurance Reform says Ireland will not have “true competition” in prices until the changes recommended by the EU are made.

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