Whiplash fraud crackdown in plan to cut motoring costs
Drivers will benefit from fuel price comparison signs and a freeze on MoT test prices, say ministers
THE GOVERNMENT has announced a range of measures to bring down motoring costs, including a pledge to crack down on fraudulent claims for whiplash injuries. Roads minister Robert Goodwill has said the government is "determined" to keep down the costs of owning and running a car. Here are the plans:
- Crackdown on whiplash claims: Ministers are promising to save motorists money by tackling the so-called 'compensation culture' which pushes up insurance premiums. Currently drivers can claim for whiplash without a medical report, but the government will next year introduce independent medical panels to identify exaggerated or fraudulent claims. The move has won support from Labour, insurers and motoring organisations.
- Fuel price comparison signs: The cost of fuel is one of the main gripes among drivers, with petrol and diesel typically costing 7.5p per litre more at motorway service stations. The government wants to install a series of price comparison signs, to be piloted next year, which will show petrol station prices along any given route. This will allow drivers to make an informed decision about where to top up their fuel.
- Freeze MoT test prices: The maximum price an MOT test centre can charge for inspecting a car will be frozen at £54.85 until 2015.
- Driving test cost review: The Department of Transport also has plans to review driving test fees, which currently cost £31 for the theory test, £62 for the practical test and £50 for a provisional licence.
Meanwhile, the Commons Transport Select Committee has today called for local authorities to annually publish the amount of money they raise from parking, and how the cash is spent, reports The Independent. Louise Ellman, who chairs the committee, said the use of parking charges and fines specifically to raise revenue by local authorities was "neither acceptable nor legal". She said the government should also urge councils to implement a five minute "grace period" before traffic wardens issue penalty notices to motorists using parking meters. ·