‘My premium went up to €1,880 – I’d be paying just €300 in UK’
A 75-YEAR-OLD woman was told her car insurance premium was as high as €1,200 due to her age and that of her vehicle.
Heather Swedler, from Listowel, Co Kerry, exchanged her 00 reg car for a 04 Fiat Punto but her insurance remains crippling.
“When I first took a policy out three years ago, it was €800, but then it went up to €1,400, then €1,880,” Ms Swedler said. “I phoned up [my insurance company] and asked why it was so expensive. They told me it was because of my age and the age of my vehicle which was a Nissan 00 reg. I bought a Fiat Punto 04 to bring the insurance down but it was only reduced to €1,200, which is still far too expensive.
“I rang around other companies too and I was told others don’t insure vehicles that are 14 or 15 years old. That means unless you have a 16, 17 or 18 reg, as an older person then you can’t get reasonable car insurance.”
Ms Swedler, who is originally from Essex in England and had worked in insurance until she moved to Ireland around 20 years ago, said the British were warned when moving to Ireland how high car insurance costs were here. But she never expected insurance to rise so dramatically.
“I know someone of the same age in the UK who has a similar age car to mine and they are paying €300 a year. I cannot see the justification for such a huge difference in prices,” she said. “I still have a mortgage to pay and my nearest shop and my GP is 6km away, there and back.
“I know if my car insurance goes up again, I won’t be able to afford it and what am I supposed to do then?”