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Uninsured drivers responsible for 7 per cent of vehicle damage

Over a quarter of Irish drivers have had their car damaged by an unidentified driver and almost 7 per cent have had their vehicle damaged by an uninsured driver, according to the AA.

Image: mtsyri via Shutterstock

MORE THAN A quarter of Irish drivers have had their car damaged by an unidentified driver and almost 7 per cent have had their vehicle damaged by an uninsured driver, the AA has revealed.

An AA Motor Insurance poll of over 9,800 people has found that motorists in Co Monaghan are more likely to encounter uninsured drivers, with more than 11 per cent saying that an uninsured driver had damaged their car at some point.

“It can be really frustrating when someone damages your car and doesn’t own up,” said Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “It might be in a supermarket car park or on the road side, or even while you are driving, but it has happened to more than a quarter of us at some stage and it is really unfair.”

Co Cavan appears to be another hotspot for uninsured drivers, with nearly 10 per cent of motorists claiming they have been affected. Meanwhile, Westmeath found 8.4 per cent  of motorists were affected at some stage, closely followed by Longford with 8.2 per cent. Motorists in Tipperary had the highest score in Munster (8.7 pert cent), while those in Galway topped the poll for Connacht (7.7 per cent).

Faughnan said the issue of uninsured drivers was even more serious, with a “reckless minority” of drivers willing to take the risk and break the law. That irresponsible minority adds up to €40 to the cost that motorists pay for their insurance cover, he pointed out.

While the problem is ongoing, it does tend to get worse in recessionary times, according to Faughnan. “When an uninsured driver causes damage, compensation is paid by the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. That body acts as the insurance company and pays the cost, but we all pick up the tab for it and it’s pushing up the price for the 95 per cent of us who pay for motor insurance every year.”

“This is an ongoing problem that needs to be a focus for the Garda. It can be an honest mistake, for example if a husband changes policy and forgets to include his wife. But more often it is people who know full well what they are doing and are reckless enough not to care,” he said.

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Read: Poll: Should motor tax be scrapped and included in the cost of fuel?

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