Calls to scrap insurance tax to ease financial burden on young drivers

Fears many young people’s jobs might be threatened by the soaring cost of car ownership have led to calls for insurance tax to be abolished for drivers aged under 24.

Comparethemarket is urging the Government to scrap Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) over concerns it is increasing costs for young drivers and is also something few people know about or understand.

More than two thirds of drivers aged between 17 and 24 rely on their cars for their commute to work, school or university, research by the price comparison website revealed. Many admitted they used them every day

In fact, so reliant are young drivers on their cars that over a quarter were worried they might risk losing their job if they could no longer afford to drive.

And, amongst young drivers who did not own a car, 44% said the reason was because they couldn’t afford the cost of fuel, insurance and maintenance of a vehicle.

Yet, Comparethemarket’s latest Young Drivers report revealed the cost of running a car for this age group has spiralled by over £180 in the past two years, pushed up by rising fuel and insurance prices.

It means the average cost of running a car for a 17 to 24-year-old is £2,381. Half this cost, the report revealed, would be forked out on insurance.

Simon McCulloch, director at Comparethemarket.com said young people were fed up with the ‘astronomical’ cost of driving. He thinks the burden of IPT, which has been increased three times in nearly as many years, was an additional expense.

He added: “If the definition of a stealth tax is one which people don’t know about or understand, then IPT fits this category precisely.

“According to our research, 82% of young drivers do not know what the current rate of tax is and yet it adds an average of £161 to their bill each year.”

Comparethemarket.com has urged the Government to introduce a limit on IPT for young drivers under 24 or to scrap it altogether.

McCulloch added: “Our research shows that 61% of young motorists do not think the Government is currently working hard enough to make driving affordable for young people.

“Failing to do so will make it harder and harder for this key segment of the workforce to get to their place of work.”

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