Increasing motoring costs creating a catch 22 for commuting students

As rent prices rise sharply for students living in Dublin, so too are the costs of running a car for commuters, according to a report published by the AA last month.

For a family car, the report found that the average motoring cost for one year has increased by over €250 to a staggering €10,849.42 since the same time in 2015.

The augmentation is mainly down to a 38.6 per cent increase in insurance premiums for the typical motorist which wipes out any savings motorists make with the recent low prices on fuel, according to the AA.

In a recent blog post on the AA’s website, Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan vented his frustration on the costly premiums and called on both the Government and insurance companies to work together to stop the hikes.

“The insurance crisis is particularly frustrating because much of it is unnecessary. While it is true that motor insurance was losing money a few years ago and the price had to rise a bit, there are things that Government and the industry could do right now that would pull prices downwards,” said Faughnan.

In 2011’s census, more students travelled to college as car drivers compared with students travelling by any other means of transport.
A total of 53,606 (29 per cent) students drove to college in 2011, with 51,959 (28 per cent) walking and 8,530 (5 per cent) cycling.

In the capital’s case, one fifth of students living in Dublin travelled to college by car compared with over 46 per cent of students who lived outside Dublin.

Cian Power, VP for Welfare with the Union of Students in Ireland is worried about the rise of both insurance premiums and renting prices and said that he feels students are being exposed more and more to a lose-lose situation each year.

“We’ve seen the AA report on increasing premiums of over €250 over the past year and that has a massive impact for students travelling to college throughout the year,” said Power.

“The cost of education is certainly having a negative impact on students. Our own survey that we released at the start of the summer showed that 87% of students are fearful that they’d have to drop out due to the increasing cost of living and that includes both travelling in and out of college and the situation with accommodation, creating a catch 22.”

Brein McGinn

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