The Government has announced a series of measures to “cut the cost of running a car” including continuing its “crackdown on whiplash fraud”, freezing MOT test prices and a scheme designed to reduce the cost of fuel at motorway service stations.
According to new statistics from the AA, average motor insurance premiums have fallen by more than 12% over the past year, equivalent to an £80 reduction on an average policy. The Ministry of Justice says the reduction is due to reforms to “no-win, no-fee” deals and action it has taken to tackle “rogue claims firms”.
The Ministry of Justice says the number of claims firms has plummeted by more than 1,000 from a peak of 2,552 in December 2011 to 1,485 in September 2013. The number of whiplash claims has also fallen but there were still almost half a million in 2012. Each claim is estimated to result in an average payout of £2,400 and £2,000 in legal costs.
The new measures announced today (23/10/13) include setting up new independent medical panels which will ensure that only evidence from accredited professionals can be considered in whiplash cases.
Chris Grayling, justice secretary, said: “We are turning the tide on the compensation culture and helping hardworking people by tackling high insurance premiums and other motoring costs.
“It’s not right that people who cheat the insurance system get away with it while forcing up the price for everyone else – so we are now going after whiplash fraudsters and will keep on driving premiums down.”
Robert Goodwill, roads minister, said: “The costs of owning and running a car are felt by millions of households and businesses across the nation. The Government is determined to help keep those costs down. That is why we are freezing the price for an MOT test and looking again at the costs associated with getting a driving licence.
“We also want to make it easier for people to get a better deal on fuel at motorway service stations, for instance through a trial of motorway signs that will show motorists the different fuel prices on offer on their route."