Insurance cost is top concern for motorists

The cost of car insurance is now the number one financial concern for Irish motorists, according to a survey carried out by one of the country’s most popular online motor marketplaces.

Carzone’s bi-annual index has found that fuel costs are the second highest concern, and purchasing trends appear to reflect this. Nearly seven in 10 motorists (68%) say the most recent car they bought is diesel, up 14% from 2015 while 32% have a petrol car.

The Volkswagen Golf is the most searched-for car on the website, followed by the BMW 5 Series, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, the Ford Focus, and the Mercedes E-Class.

Overall, the report found consumer sentiment is positive despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, with 91% saying the UK’s decision to leave the EU has not had an impact on their decision to buy a car in 2017.

Ailish Tully, brand manager at Carzone, said the outlook for the industry was positive.

“It was also interesting to see that newer models were some of the most searched-for cars in the first 10 months of the year and that over one in four are willing to spend between €20,000 and €40,000,” she said.

“This higher price point is also reflected in our car searches with a number of premium marques such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes featuring in the top six.

“The report also finds that the cost of insurance, tax, and fuel remain a key concern for car buyers and just under half of consumers spread the cost of their tax and insurance rather than pay it off in one go.

“In particular, we see those under 35 opting for this payment method.

“While the impact of Brexit on the industry remains to be seen, the average consumer says it will not deter them from buying a car next year.”

More than half (54%) of respondents spend up to €250 per month on car costs such as fuel, tax, insurance, repairs, and servicing while 14% spend in excess of €300 per month.

Just under a third (32%) say they opt to pay their motor tax quarterly while 41% pay their insurance by monthly direct debit.

More than half (53%) of 18 to 34-year-olds opt to pay via direct debit.

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