Peopl Insurance Q&A - The More You Know - Long-term Motor Insurance Skip to main content

More than four in ten drivers in Ireland would like to see the option of long-term motor insurance introduced

Three in ten male drivers would opt for a longer-term policy if it were available

One in five Irish adults don’t own a car – working class, Dubliners and young adults are more likely not to drive

Most Irish drivers would be interested in having the option to purchase long-term motor insurance policies, or at the very least, learn about the possibility. A survey by Peopl. Insurance has revealed strong interest in the concept, where motor cover is bought for a period of three or more years rather than annually. Almost half (45%) of the drivers asked said they would support its introduction while a further 43% said they would be interested in hearing more about it. Over one in four (27%) said they would take out long-term motor insurance if it were available.

Commenting on the survey findings, Paul Walsh, CEO of Peopl Insurance said:

“Long-term motor insurance is a relatively new concept that is being explored in some countries. Although it has yet to be introduced here, it is a definite possibility in the years to come, and it seems there is an appetite within the market for the option. A longer-term policy would give the policy holder the security of knowing their rate won’t go up for a certain number of years, and it would also lessen the chances for motorists to allow their cover to inadvertently lapse. A possible downside however could be that customers could lose out on the price drops they might enjoy when renewing their cover annually.

Like most financial products, a longer-term insurance policy would suit some people and not others – depending on their individual needs, financial situation and so on.”

The Peopl Insurance survey also examined car ownership patterns across the country and found that one in five (21%) of the 1,000 Irish adults asked don’t own or drive a car. The working class, people living in Dublin and those aged between 18 and 34 are the least likely to have a set of wheels.

Other interesting findings on car ownership which emerged from the survey include:

  • Twice as many working class (28%) as middle class (14%) don’t own or drive a motor vehicle
  • Dubliners are almost twice as likely (37%) as the national average (21%) not to drive.
  • People in their late teens and early Twenties are the least likely to own or drive a vehicle, with almost six in ten (57%) of those aged between 18 and 24 reporting this to be the case, followed by three in ten (30%) of those aged between 25 and 34.
  • Car ownership is highest in Connacht and Ulster with 93% of people living there owning a car, compared to 63% in Dublin. This might reflect the infrastructural differences throughout the country. Many people living outside cities have no option but to drive.
  • Just 1% of people own motorbikes – those aged between 45 and 54 are more likely to do so (2%).
  • Car ownership between men and women is largely the same.

Mr. Walsh continued,

“More than eight in ten people in the country drive. That’s a pretty substantial number. Many of these could be overpaying for their car insurance by not shopping around at renewal time. We would urge people to make it their priority to shop around at renewal. Central Bank research shows that customers who have stayed with their insurance provider for nine years or more, are paying, on average, 14% more for private car insurance. Put simply, on the average motor policy of €575, loyal customers are paying an extra €80 more than necessary if they don’t shop around.”

“The finding that about one in five adults don’t have a motor vehicle is somewhat surprising as there is a perception of Ireland as a country with high car ownership. Interestingly though, recent European figures show that Ireland has amongst the lowest overall level of car ownership in the EU, even though our transport emissions were recently found to be the fourth highest in Europe, suggesting we rely on our cars more, even if car ownership levels are lower than the EU norm.”

“The survey also found that 57% of those aged between 18 and 24 don’t drive or own a vehicle – compared to the national average of 81%. Between car insurance, motor tax, and the NCT, those in their teens and early Twenties could face a bill running into the thousands in their first year of driving – on top of the one-off cost of buying a car. The costs of getting a car on the road can therefore be prohibitive for many young people. Of course, environmental reasons could be a factor in the one in five people who don’t own a car, as younger people and others are more environmentally-aware today.”