Report on Motor Insurance by the Oireachtas Finance Committee

I am encouraged by the report ,published on Thursday, by the Oireachtas Finance committee. I'm delighted that they've taken seriously the recommendations of myself and all other stakeholders they have spoken too.

I am particularly pleased by the recommendation requesting for more clarity and a point-by-point breakdown of insurance renewals. This will allow motorists to see exactly where their money is going and remove the veil of mystery behind which insurance companies have, to now, been able to hide behind.

I do empathise with the insurance companies to an extent, the volatility in the market and high cost of court awards inhibits massively their ability to offer lower premiums based on their risk models. This is an unfortunate consequence of outsourcing the provision of insurance to the private sector, they are going to want to maintain their profit margin by passing their costs onto consumer. That is no criticism of the companies, as this is how any company would operate. It is a criticism of the entire system.

Therefore, I am also encouraged by the recommendation that the minister examine the feasibility of state backed insurance systems such as the New Zealand model. Despite their own drawbacks, these types of systems can reduce the burden on the motorist massively.

This report is a massive step in the right direction for motorists in Ireland. But the government must not sit back and think their job is done. The discussions are complete, action is now required. I ask that the Minister for Finance pushes forward with these recommendations in their entirety. Prove to the people of Ireland that this Government can put them ahead of corporate interest.

What's happening with Motor Insurance?


As you will all know by now, over the last number of months I’ve been meeting with various stakeholders in the Motor Insurance market to try to get a grasp on what is causing the extraordinary increases we are currently experiencing. I’ll do my best in this post to try to explain what I have learned.
Firstly, I’m not going to go into detail about every single thing that contributes to the cost of insurance. There is so much there, and it is such a complicated market, that I’d be writing for days to cover it all. I’m just going to focus on the one area that, in my own humble opinion, has contributed most to the cost.
To start with, we have to acknowledge that insurance companies are private businesses which are in existence to make a profit. Many of you will believe that motor insurance should run by the state, or that there should be a no-fault system in place, but for the purpose of this post that is irrelevant. The situation as it stands is that the private companies run the motor insurance industry. As private companies do, when things get tough, their first interest is self-preservation. This is important to note because the volatility in the market at the moment is forcing them to act this way.
There is an EU directive known as “solvency ii” which has a lot of clever sounding phrases and words that are quite difficult to explain. To put it simply, this instructs insurance entities on how they should reserve for the risk they take on. (Setanta, for example, massively under reserved and collapsed as a result). Basically, the insurance companies have to set aside enough cash to cover compensation pay-outs for each premium they insure.
The issue here is that, when they are taking on a premium, there is no immediate way to tell how much that premium will cost the company in terms of potential claims pay-outs. This, coupled with the solvency ii directive, forces the companies to reserve enough capital to cover the worst case scenario. So when someone gets an award of, let’s say 50k for a broken leg for example, the companies have to treat every new premium as potentially costing them 50k in a pay-out. Even if 9/10 cases paid out only 5,000 and only 1 cost the 50,00, they still have to assume the worst case scenario for each premium. Obviously, this is a very simplistic explanation of it.
When we look into it, this does make sense and match up with much of the data that is available and what the various stakeholders are saying. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) are adamant that the level of claims hasn’t increased in recent years, despite the insurance companies saying that it’s claims causing the increase. The thing is, they’re both correct. The level of claims hasn’t increased dramatically, but how they’re covered by premiums has changed.
What this has done, is force insurance companies to limit the risk they take on, therefore they narrow their field of interest and charge more for what they consider to be high risk categories to cover both the reserves they must set aside, their running expenses and their profit margin (roughly 5%). Unsurprisingly, young drivers fall into that category as do drivers of older cars (crashes involving older cars are more likely to be catastrophic in nature so the profiling is justified…as much as it bugs me). Double whammy for younger people who are the most likely to be driving older cars, so the whole thing hits us twice.
The recently updated “Book of Quantum” will go some way to providing clarity on court awards, but unless the Judges begin adhering to it, and clamping down on frivolous, claims it will simply act as “a menu for chancers” as Charlie Weston put it in the independent. As it stands, the legislation states that Judges must “have regard for” the book, which essentially means they can have a glance at it and then award whatever they feel appropriate.
With the pressure mounting on the government (pause for applause…awkward silence…moving on…) Minister for State Eoghan Murphy has said that he wants to have some form of solution in place by the end of the year. The Finance and Public Expenditure committee is set to report to the minister shortly with their recommendations. The likelihood is that this year will see premiums increase once more, before the market stabilizes and prices begin to come down again the following year.
I don’t envisage prices ever returning to the previous low as that was simply unsustainable, so if you used to pay only €200 for your premium, I’m sorry but that’s not going to happen again. But for the younger generation, there is some hope around the corner…in terms of car insurance at least. Let’s not mention the cost of rent, housing market, dole rate discrimination, student loans schemes, cost of 3rd level education, rural isolation or lack of career prospects. Yeah…aside from that, great time to be a young person in Ireland…

Are you following us on Social Media?
Check out the Facebook page here
Follow us on Instagram here
Tweet us @irlunderground
Or keep up with us on Snapchat @irlunderground

Oireachteas Committee meeting

This coming Thursday, I will appear in front of an Oireachteas committee to discuss possible solutions to the current motor insurance crisis. I will be putting forward some ideas which may help alleviate the situation as well as trying to highlight the plight of motorists in Ireland. Below is an advance draft of my speaking notes for the day. The session will be broadcast live on Oireachteas TV from 11.00.

For the last number of weeks, I’ve been receiving emails, calls and social media messages from members of the public in despair at the cost of their motor insurance. Many are considering, or have already, refusing to pay their motor insurance due to the cost. As you will no doubt be aware, figures recently released show a 17% increase in claims involving uninsured drivers. This is a very worrying figure as these claims contribute to the overall cost of premiums and, judging by the messages I’m receiving, this figure could be set to rise significantly in the next 12 months.
One of the key problems that people have is that their premiums are increasing despite them having no claims or accidents. They see this as pure profiteering by the insurance companies. Obviously, I know that these companies have to turn a profit in order to stay viable and they will increase their income to outweigh their outgoings in whatever way is most convenient and offers them the best results. I personally have no problem with private companies providing the insurance, but this is not a view shared by quite a number of motorists in the Republic of Ireland. What needs to be done, in my view, is to aid all insurance companies in bringing down their expenses, so they can remain profitable while offering lower premiums.
There are a number of ways this I imagine this could be done at an official level;
Bring compensation payouts in line with EU averages.Tackle fraudulent and exaggerated claims more aggressivelyGrant greater powers to the injuries board
Another issue that has been brought to my attention is lack of clarity. When we take out motor insurance, it is to cover the risk of an accident or theft etc. It would seem logical, therefore, that as you gain experience your premium should come down. Such has been the increase in premiums, those who have been driving for years, even decades, without a claim are seeing enormous increases. There seems to be no consistency in the pricing. People want clarity, they want to see exactly what they are paying for. I believe it is only fair that when someone is offered a premium, that premium should be broken down and shown clearly to the customer. In the same line of reasoning, insurance companies are claiming that much of the increase is down to the cost of claims. Yet 70% of claims are settled out of court. I would support the motion put forward by Deputy McGrath a number of weeks ago, for the implementation of a claims database. The companies may claim it is anti-competitive, but i would argue that if everyone must disclose their out of court settlements then it is an even playing field for all companies. I fully believe that this would help reduce the cost of claims as we could monitor if suspected fraudulent claims are not being fully investigated.
Lastly, and I think this is a major issue particularly for young drivers. There is a refusal by many insurance companies to take on cars older even than 10 years. I don’t know if they are expecting a 17 or 18 year old to be earning €50,000 per year but I know very few young drivers who can afford a car less than 10 years old. If a car has a valid NCT, then I believe it should be required by law to be judged the same as a new car in terms of risk. In most countries, the insurance companies will assess the risk based on the car, or the driver. Here, they do both. I don’t see why, if I’m considered a low-risk, insurable driver in a 2010 BMW, why am I suddenly uninsurable in a 1995 Ford Escort? I am just as good a driver in either, and as such should be considered in the same risk category regardless of what car I’m driving.
The motorists of Ireland are besieged on all fronts. We are drowning under a tsunami of expense. We have to contend with an unfair two-tier tax system, high fuel costs, poor road conditions leading to unusually high maintenance fees and now rapidly soaring insurance premiums. This government consistently mentioned they would “keep the recovery going”. There may be a recovery here in Dublin, or for the upper class. But I cannot say I have felt any recovery. I speak for the everyman here in Ireland when I say we want a share of the recovery. I am here to beg you to help us. We’ve done our part slogging through the mire of the recession, all we ask is a small return to help us breathe a little easier.
Thank you.
Kian Griffin

Vote for us!

As you probably know already, Ireland Underground has made the shortlist for this years blog awards!

This is fantastic validation for what we have achieved so far. The public vote is worth 20% so we would really appreciate if you could vote for us by clicking the image below.



This years Blog Awards are sponsored by www.littlewoodsireland.ie

An Open Letter to Minister Noonan



Dear Minister Noonan,

For a number of years now, the cost of motoring in Ireland has been steadily increasing. From oil price increases to tax increases and now the shockingly high insurance premiums. It is becoming a real struggle for many to afford to keep a car on the road. In a country where public transport is notoriously unreliable, this is a very real and urgent issue.

Your party ran an election campaign based on a slogan of "keep the recovery going". I must ask, where is this recovery? I have heard whispers that things are better for the upper class in Dublin, but the vast majority of the population have not felt it. This "recovery" is beginning from the top down. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to motorists. Those who can afford newer cars can avail of a lower tax rate, others cannot. Those who can afford newer cars can avail of cheaper car insurance, others cannot. It seems as if the decks are firmly stacked against those of us who have older cars, and it is made nearly impossible for us to break free of this viscous circle.

I ask you, Minister, why is it that an older car which may have lower Co2 emissions than a 161 car, still has to pay higher taxes? Why is it, that an older car which passes the same NCT test as a new car should have to pay higher insurance premiums? Why is it that a person who has many years driving without a single claim should have a premium increase? Does insurance not price risk anymore? are they now pricing opportunity? The purpose of purchasing motor insurance is to insure the driver against risk, if a driver has not given any reason to be considered a higher risk, they should not have to pay a higher premium.

We are no longer paying to insure the risk of motoring. We are paying to cover Setanta, Quinn and likely Enterprise, whose companies who have been wound up. Did the financial regulator or the central bank not see the issues with those companies? If not, someone hasn't done their job. Why should we pay to cover their losses?

We are paying to cover the excessive cost of claims in this country. I was recently told of someone who received a payout of nearly 250,000 for whiplash! Why are claims such as this not being thoroughly investigated? Why should I and others have to pay for people who exaggerate claims? Why should they have an easy life while others struggle to afford their daily commute?

As it stands, Minister, there is a very real danger that a significant percentage of motorists will begin to take the risk of driving uninsured just so they can get to work. You need to urgently address what is fast becoming a national crisis.

Therefore I ask you, why not change the motor tax system so that all cars, not just newer ones, are taxed based on emissions? Why not change the way insurance is done in this country, perhaps look at a "no-fault" system such as they have in New Zealand?

We are tired, Minister. We are frustrated, we are exhausted. We have spent years struggling through austerity, please let us have a piece of the recovery too.

Kind Regards,

Kian Griffin

We've made it - Blog Awards Ireland 2016

I'm delighted to announce that Ireland Underground has made the long-list for the 2016 Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards. It's an honour to be nominated and we truly hope that we make the shortlist.

It's been a busy year so far for us. We've profiled some amazing cars, met some fantastic people and most importantly, led the charge for a reduction in motor insurance premiums.

We've made both regional and national news, been a consistent feature in both the tabloids and broadsheets (a big thank you to Charlie Weston in the Irish Independent for their excellent coverage the last few months), we've been discussed on every radio show from Radio Kerry to Today FM and Radio 1.

Our fight to bring about cheaper insurance premiums goes on. We're still talking to politicians and journalists to make sure motorists in Ireland are not forgotten about.

we are delighted to receive this nomination in recognition of the tremendous work but in by all involved in our campaign. I think it's appropriate at this moment to thank all of our local reps who put a herculean amount of effort into aiding the cause. Also I must single out Amy Ní Dheadaigh who was instrumental in getting us the press coverage that began the movement.

I hope that, when the public voting opens, you will be there to support us.

Thanks again for the support,

Kian

Sponsored by www.littlewoodsireland.ie

Mini Monster Series - Chris Gibson Toyota Yaris


Ladies and Gents, allow us to present the second entry into our Mini Monster Series.

Have a look at this stunning, show quality Yaris (never thought I'd say that!) from Chris Gibson.


Chris is studying mechanical engineering and renewable energy at Athlone IT, he bought his Yaris back in September 2014 and has made a fantastic job of it since. He's always resolved to modifying his first car, regardless of what it would have been. Chris really wanted to make his car his own, and I think he's been successful.

 This little monster has such a seamless look to it, you'd swear it was carved from one block of metal and dropped onto those stunning rims. He's fitted a full t-sport body kit, fully flushed bootlid and fitted a t-sport bonnet grill for good measure. He's also resprayed it in 8M4 Dark Metallic Blue. As well as those big jobs, he's added a few less noticeable touches such as the purple Lego dustcaps and team heko wind deflectors. All-in-all a beautiful job.

Under the hood the car is running on a 998cc, 4 cylinder, VVTI engine. Despite the relatively small engine, he still has to fork out around 1K for insurance this year. 

Does this really look like a car that needs that high of a premium? After the work put into it, I doubt very much Chris is going to be taking any risks that would damage his pride and joy.

The back end of this car is as sweet as you'll ever see on a Yaris. From the flush boot and 1.5 inch shotgun exhaust, to the gleaming paintwork and the slick spoiler, this car will turn heads from all angles. Chris has his Yaris lowered all round. Using TA Technix Coilovers, he's dropped 110mm up front and 115mm to the rear to give it a more sporty look and feel than a standard height Yaris.

"My favourite memory was going to JapFest 2015 as part of the Toc-Irl stand"

It should be no surprise that this car was a part of the 2015 JapFest show. This is certainly one of the most unique cars in Ireland and goes to show that you don't need a big car to be a showstopper.


The Next Step

First of all, I would like to say a massive thank you to those who made the effort to join us in Dublin yesterday.
The point of yesterdays demonstration was to bring the issue of soaring insurance premiums to light. Over the past number of weeks, we have been able to get the issue highlighted in every major news outlet in the country. Nearly every radio station in the country has discussed the issue, it has been debated on Vincent Browne, The last word with Matt Cooper and many others.

Yesterdays turnout was a massive disappointment of course, yet, with the small few numbers that did show, we still managed to get the issue on almost every news outlet in the country. Imagine what we could have done if everyone did come along.

It's very easy to rant on social media, to say what should be done and point fingers. It's easy to comment on news articles and assign blame. What is difficult is getting out and doing something about it. I made the error of presuming that all the anger and frustration being vented on social media would result in feet on the ground yesterday. I made the incorrect assumption that the motorists of Ireland were ready to stand up and fight for themselves rather than just talk about it on social media.

Perhaps we could have advertised the event better, but with no financial backing this is difficult. We had to rely entirely on social media and news publications. In the days and weeks running up to yesterdays event, we received countless messages of support. Many of these messages expressed delight that "finally someone is doing something". All of these messages, the Facebook posts, the website comments etc. led me to believe that we were onto something major. Judging by the reaction in the hours following yesterdays rally, we are onto something.
We are touching on a subject that is affecting thousands of people in Ireland. People are sick of having to pay out these premiums (even if they didn't show it yesterday). Perhaps traditional rallies and demonstrations are no longer the way to go. Perhaps there is another way to force the government into action.

Following yesterdays rally, we have received assurances from opposition TD's that they will not let the issue rest. They know, as do many Government TD's, that this is an issue of significant importance to Irish motorists. This is an issue that needs to be addressed decisively.

On a final note, to the many motorists who failed to attend yesterday despite saying they would. It is up to you as individuals to stand up for yourselves. You cannot rely on others to fix things for you. Yesterday, Ireland Underground showed up to fight for you, yet you did not give us the support we were relying on. Despite this, we will still continue to fight for you, because it's the right thing to do. If we have to drag you kicking and screaming with us, we will. We are going to keep fighting until we get a resolution. But if we can get your support, it will make the process a lot easier.



A Statement from Kian Griffin of Ireland Underground

Below is a copy of the statement read out in behalf of Ireland Underground at the recent Sinn Fein meeting at Wynns hotel in Dublin

"Let me first apologise that I am not able to attend this meeting in person. Due to work commitments I was unable to travel from Kerry this evening.

I would like to thank the Sinn Fein party for organising this meeting tonight and for their aid in promoting our demonstration this Saturday, the help is greatly appreciated. I would also like to acknowledge those who are here in my stead to represent Ireland Underground, without their efforts, this campaign would not be possible.

I established Ireland Underground in February as a simple motoring blog. My intention was to interview young drivers with modified cars and post their stories online, I thought it would go a little way towards removing the stigma attached to young drivers. I had hoped to at least relieve some of the discrimination that I, and others of my age, often receive because of the cars we drive. Each person I interviewed mentioned the same issues to me. The cost of fuel, the cost of tax for pre-2008 cars, issues with NCT and the poor quality of the roads. But above all, motor insurance was a thorn in the side of these motorists. Younger drivers have always paid extremely high premiums, but we laboured on under the impression that, eventually, the prices would come down as we got over. Now, however, the opposite is happening. Despite getting older, and haveing more driving experience, our premiums are increasing. Through no fault of our own. There are a whole host of factors contributing to the extortionate increases we are seeing, far too many for a single person to decipher and far too many to be ignored.

In the past couple of years the increases have spread across all demographics with no consistency whatsoever. As I delved deeper into the issues and began to speak out about them. Ireland Underground grew to represent, not just young drivers, but all drivers. The government has expressed “concern” and “sympathy” at our plight, but this is not enough. We need immediate and decisive action. I acknowledge and appreciate the recent motion which went through the Dáil with support from both Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein. I am delighted to see cross-party support on this issue, my only surprise is that, despite almost unanimous support, the government still drag their feet on the issue.

This is why it is absolutely vital that all who are able, drive through Dublin with us on Saturday. As a group, we have more power than any lobby group in the country. Combined we could grind Dublin city to a standstill and keep it that way if we so desired. On Saturday, we need every available voice to join us both in our convoy to Dublin and the rally following in Merrion square. The concern of the government is not enough, their sympathy is not enough. We have the momentum to make a real difference, we have a chance to significantly improve our situation. We need to grasp this chance and stand together to fight for what is right. For too long, motorists have been an easy target. Our costs have increased year on year, it is time to take a stand. Join us next Saturday and make a difference.

Thank you.

Young Drivers Spearhead National Campaign against soaring Insurance Premiums

For too long, motorists in Ireland have been burdened with excessive costs. From Fuel and Insurance to Motor tax and general maintenance. For far too long motorists have been seen as an easy target for taxes. We have to put up with a two-tier tax system. We have to drive on poorly maintained roads which councils are unwilling to accept legal responsibility for. We have to put our cars through a flawed NCT. On top of all of this, our insurance premiums are increasing an average of 35%. 



The situation for motorists is dire. We cannot rely on public transport. We need our private transportation to go to work, and to own our own transport we are backed into a corner by legislation which forces these costs upon us. We have no choice but to pay the tax, we have no choice but to pay for the NCT, we have no choice but to repair our vehicles after the damage caused by unsuitable roads and we also have no choice but to pay extortionate premiums to private insurance companies.

As a result of this, young drivers are spearheading a national campaign aimed at alleviating the costs to motorists. Ireland Underground, a group representing young drivers, are organising a national demonstration in front of Leinster House on the 2nd of July. The primary focus of this demonstration is the cost of insurance.

The issues being put forward are the excessive payouts awarded from claims against insurance companies and poor pursuit of fraudulent claims. The group also asks that the government follow up on issues raised by Liadh Ni Riadha MEP, that noncompetitive pricing practices are in play throughout the industry.


It is also claimed that poor business models have led to the current situation. It is believed that, previously, insurance companies were underselling their premiums and using those same premium payments to purchase bonds in other European countries. Now that this gamble has failed, they are punishing Irish motorists for their failed gamble.


The group would also like to see restrictions lifted on insurance companies from Europe operating in Ireland. Drivers in neighboring EU countries are able to avail of premiums up to 400% cheaper than those in Ireland. Despite the free market, European insurance companies are not permitted to insure Irish based drivers without having an office in the country. 
The group have called on the Irish Government to take immediate action.

"It's gone on for far too long now, and the situation is getting worse by the day, young drivers are laboured with quotes as high as €14,000. Insurance companies are refusing to quote cars older than 15 years old, which are the only cars some can afford to purchase".

The demonstration is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 2nd at Midday in Dublin.

See our Facebook page for more information.

David Clancy - 2009 VW Jetta

Modded diesels are one of the most popular trends in the Irish car scene at the moment. Not only are they cheaper to run, but they look good too!

Take this Jetta sent to us by David Clancy. This car looks sleek, prestigious and powerful all at once. Brought in completely standard from England, David has put an immense effort into this beauty.


The front-to-back flow on this car is spectacular, everything looks perfectly natural and streamlined. Starting from the stripped chrome grille, tidy lip and newly fitted fog lamps at the front, combined with those menacing eyelids, it all runs smoothly into the back where the roof and boot spoilers extend seamlessly off the original body parts. 

The car rests lowered on fully adjustable coilovers, sitting on top of those stunning cadbury purple 18 inch boston alloys. The contrast between the rims and the body paint is definitely eye-catching and is sure to turn heads.

We love the simplistic, clean-cut look of this Jetta. No rice-ism to be found here. From front to back, this car is up there with the nicest modded diesels we've seen so far. But don't take our word for it. Let the pictures speak for themselves.






Mini Monster Series - Shane Cahill 1997 Toyota Starlet

We've covered a lot recently about how much insurance has gone up in recent months and years. So with that in mind, it might be worth showcasing what you can do with a lower powered and (You would imagine) easily insured car.


The feature profile here is a Toyota Starlet built by Shane Cahill. Shane found this Starlet parked up at the back of a house about 2 years ago. It was a faded, worn, tired desperately depressing little car in need of some TLC. Step forward young Master Cahill to save the day!


What Shane has since done with this pocket rocket, is show what you can do with a little car and a lot of creativity. As he says himself, there are a couple of Glanza reps in his area, so he didn't want to go down that route. He wanted to stand out, do something a little different. The result is a beautiful little wagon with a Glanza rep rear and original (almost) Starlet front-end.



So what exactly did he do to bring this car back to life?

In the two years since picking it up he has given the car a much needed full respray. It's been lowered on coilovers all round onto a sweet set of  cades and fitted a straight through exhaust onto a Janspeed back box. He's fitted yellow spots on the front above a tidy Laguna splittter to keep the car close enough to that original look, but also make it stand out in a crowd.


The rear windows have a dark black tint and he's fitted a Glanza boot, spoiler and back bumper. On the interior he's kept it to the original Starlet look as much as possible but switched out the old steering wheel for a deep dish OMP. 



There was no small amount of effort put into this car to make it as clean looking as it is today. Hours of dedication to fuel this labour of love. Yet more evidence of the passion Irish people have for their cars. There are plenty of these tidy little cars knocking around, each with their own unique flair to them. Ideal for those starting out but who don't want to stick to a standard looking car. The only thing limiting what can be done with these cars is your own creativity.

If you're in need of any inspiration, take a look at these other mini monsters sent into us on Snapchat.






A bit of Rice is good for you now and again 







While you're here! Check out Patrick Foley's gorgeous Corolla

National Demonstration Against the Rising Cost of Insurance



As you will all know, the cost of car insurance has risen drastically over the last couple of years. we have finally reached breaking point and now is the time to act. The issue has been debated in Dáil Éireann on a number of occasions, but, to date there has been no political intervention. This is is typical of a government which has allowed corporate greed to screw over the people of Ireland time and again. a recent report in the Irish Times stated that insurance companies have admitted to hiking prices to become more profitable rather than as a response to the issue of insurance fraud or excessive claims payouts.

In response to this, we feel it is only right that the people most affected by this voice their anger. It is time for the young drivers of Ireland to stand together and push back against this injustice!



On the 2nd of July, we plan to hold a major demonstration in Dublin. We need cars from all over the country to convene in Dublin on this day. We need local volunteers in as many counties as possible to set up meeting points so that drivers can join in a convoy to Dublin. Together we can make this the largest demonstration the country has seen in recent times, we will take over every major route into the Capital and drive to the gates of the Dáil where they will hear our voices. On July 2nd, we will undertake the largest cruise this country has ever seen. Thousands of cars, thousands of voices all united against our oppressors! Join the fight, on July 2nd we go to war (well not exactly but you get the picture).

To become the local organiser for your area. Send us a message on Facebook.

We ask you to write to your local TD's to ask their support for this. Join the event on Facebook and share this far and wide.
Join the Event Here

Read also ;Young Drivers forced to pay for Government indecision

Young Drivers being forced to pay for Government indecision

 Ireland pays out some of the highest compensation rewards in Europe.  This is the first issue which needs to be tackled. Below is a statement from September of last year. As you will see, this is not new information, this has been coming for a number of years. The government, and the insurance companies have been warned about it and yet have taken no preventative action. Instead they have allowed the situation to worsen and of course, put the cost of this inaction on the shoulders of young drivers.

We will be organising a national protest as soon a government is formed. We will need volunteers from each county possible to organise support and make sure local TD's support our action. Let us know via facebook, instagram, snapchat or email info@ireland-underground.com if you are in a position to help.

  • Excessive Cost of Claims in Ireland Leading to Increases in Motor Premiums
  • Average cost of whiplash in Ireland is €15k, average cost in the UK is €5k
  • Other factors such as Setanta judgment will also impact premiums in Ireland
Issued Tuesday, 15 September, 2015.  Insurance Ireland, which represents 95% of the domestic and international based insurance sector in Ireland, held a briefing today to discuss the issues contributing to increases in premiums for customers, particularly in the area of motor insurance.  Insurance Ireland has identified the high cost of awards in court as one of the key factors driving up the cost of insurance premiums.  Other factors include legal costs, fraud and most recently, the High Court’s judgment in relation to Setanta Insurance. Insurance Ireland believes a range of measures are needed to stabilise pricing for consumers, particularly in the area of motor premiums.Speaking at today’s briefing, Kevin Thompson, CEO, Insurance Ireland, said “Motor claims costs are rising.  The level of awards being made in the Courts is at an all-time high.  The average High Court award in 2014 was up 34% on 2013 and the average Circuit Court award was up 14% on 2013.  In litigated cases, legal costs in Ireland account for more than 60% of the compensation awarded.”“Motor injury awards made by the Injuries Board averaged €21k in 2014, a very high average considering that 80% of motor injury claims are for whiplash” said Kevin Thompson, “The figures on whiplash alone are very stark; in Ireland the average award for whiplash is €15k, in the UK, the corresponding figure is €5k. The reality is that premiums are dictated by claims costs, and although the Irish market is very competitive, increases in the cost of claims will inevitably lead to increases in premiums.”The increasing cost of awards made in the Courts:The level of personal injury awards in Ireland is increasing as the following table shows:              High Court                 Circuit Court                  €                            €2014:      304,353                      13,5502013:      227,321                      11,9412012:      252,146                      11,4522011:     215,730                       12,3622010:     219,303                       12,662

How to claim from the County Council for Damage to your car

There's no denying it, the roads in Ireland are in pretty bad shape. "In Shite" some would say! As a result of this, it's pretty difficult to keep our wagons in a decent state of repair. From burst tyres, misaligned tracking and dodgy suspension, many are caused (or at least helped along) by the appaling state of the nation's roads.

With that in mind, we at Ireland-underground.com have looked into exactly how you can hold your local county council responsible for damage caused by dodgy roads, and get them to pay for it in the process.

For starters, there are three legal terms which cover this. "Nonfeasance", "Malfeasance" and "Misfeasance". The last one is the most important in this case, we'll get to that in a moment.

Here's the explanation of those terms.

- Nonfeasance is defined as the neglect or failure to do some act which ought to be done, e.g. failing to keep the road in repair.

- Misfeasance means doing a lawful act in a negligent manner

-Malfeasance is defined as the doing of an unlawful act, e.g.                                                                   trespass.

The important thing to note here is that, in the event of "Nonfeasance" the council is not responsible. So, if the council makes no effort to repair the road, by law they do not have to accept responsibility for any damage done to your car as a result. There was an attempt to change this situation by Section 60 of the Civil Liability Act 1961, but the minister of the time refused to sign off on it.

However, in the event of "Misfeacance" the council IS responsible and should, by law, compensate you for your claim. Basically, if the council has attempted to repair the road, but made a shitty job of it.

The burden of proof is down to the driver, so when the damage happens, you need to prove that there is evidence there that the council have made an attempt to repair the road. Take pictures of the road, and the damage to your vehicle.

The best example of this is where potholes have been filled in, yet the road is still uneven and bumpy.

This won't guarantee you anything, but it's the best shot you'll have. Please share this to make everyone aware.

Sick of soaring insurance costs? Join the fight against the extortion of young drivers here

Noonan blames legal costs and huge payouts for high insurance prices

taken from http://www.independent.ie/
The minister has blamed an "increased engagement of solicitors in the handling of claims" as one of the main causes for rising costs.
However, Mr Noonan also said that he has no power to interfere in the cost of insurance products.
He noted the number of claims coming before the courts remains "steady" but a greater number of people are taking their case to the High Court, rather than the Circuit Court, in a bid to get a larger pay-out.
"This reportedly leads to cases taking longer to settle and increased cost per claim," Mr Noonan said.
Premiums, particularly for motorists, have soared by as much as 30pc in the past year.
Among a series of reasons listed by Mr Noonan was the "improving economic conditions" and "a comparatively high level of insurance fraud".
A Review of Policy in the Insurance Sector is being undertaken in consultation with the Central Bank and other Departments and Agencies.
His Fine Gael colleague and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton suggested rules which regulate awards handed down by the courts should be reviewed to allow more consistency.
He said this would end claimants "feeling the courts (service) is almost like lottery".
Mr Bruton said more cases should be dealt with by the Personal Injury Assessment Board (PIAB) as a "non-legalistic" alternative, pointing out that awards have remained "stable".
"They handle about 12,000 out of 34,000 [claims], handling less than a third," he said.
"We need to have much more knowledge of what is happening outside the PIAB than inside."
But Fianna Fáil's Dara Calleary said that the board was limited by the legal service.
"It has frustrated at every turn at a legal community who do not want to lose control of this particular market," he said.
"It is a very lucrative market for themselves."
On flood insurance, Mr Noonan said it was important that homeowners in at-risk areas have access to cover.
"A fully functioning insurance sector should be able to provide this at a reasonable cost," he said.
"My officials are undertaking research in the area of flood insurance which will include an analysis of the different approaches to flood insurance taken in other countries."

Link to original article http://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/noonan-blames-legal-costs-and-huge-payouts-for-high-insurance-prices-34646378.html

Car insurance for Young Drivers



On Saturday we reported that we were launching a national campaign against the extortion of young drivers by insurance companies. Today, after speaking with Martin ferris TD, we are happy to announce that the Sinn Féin party are bringing the issue to Dáil Éireann this week.

We are happy to see at least one political party make a genuine effort to put this on the national agenda. The motion will be tabled by deputy Pearse Doherty.

We will monitor the reaction from the other parties, if the issue seems to be taken seriously then we will continue to lobby the government until we get real results. If not, we will be organising a mass protest in Dublin.

Keep an eye on our website and Facebook for more details.

Want to take action against this injustice? Check out our previous post

A Call to Action

As all us motorists will know, insurance premiums have become almost entirely un-affordable. Massive compensation payouts and fraudulent claims, supported by a judicial system which makes it easier to pay out rather than fight the false claims, have resulted in insurance companies pushing the cost of premiums up massively.

Here at Ireland-underground.com, we are leading the fight against these extortionate premiums. We are collecting examples of over priced premiums, collating the results and will be bringing them before the relevant ministers. You can help by sending examples to info@ireland-underground.com.

We have already discussed the issue the Michael Healy-Rae TD who has sat before insurance companies in relation to this issue. From speaking with him, it is clear that fraudulent claims are the primary reason for the hike in costs. The cost of fighting fraudulent claims in court far outweighs the cost of simply paying out, so this is what the insurance companies are doing. We need to fight back against this, we need the court system to take a firmer stance on these claims, no more €30,000 payouts for "whiplash". We also need to fight against the insurance companies loading the additional cost on younger drivers. We are hard pressed enough as it is.

If we cannot get anything in motion from the political system, we will organise a mass demonstration in Dublin. We will bring thousands of cars along all the major roadways into Dublin and bring the city to a standstill. 

This fight is just beginning, we will persevere, we will be heard, we will win!


Dave Burnell - 1983 Ford Capri 3L V6 Cosworth

If Dwayne Johnson was a car, I imagine he would look like this!




This grunt-worthy piece of dream machinery was built by Wicklow native, David Burnell. A bargain buy 6 years ago, David has devoted countless hours, and nearly €20,000 besides, to turning this machine into the awe-inspiring monster it is today. The attention to detail on this build is astonishing. It takes a man with passion bordering on obsession to create this, and passion is something David has by the bucketload.




A scruffy looking 2.8 when he bought it, the car was stripped down to it's skivvies and built back up again (I suspect with a dosing of protein powder along the way). 
Of course, as anyone who has spent even a day working on a car will know, nothing comes easy. Once the car was stripped, David discovered rust, lots of it. Not to be deterred, he persevered. 

With donations from another Capri or two, David managed to build his car from the ground up, literally. Every inch of this car complements the next. From the flush body panels to the chunky interior, this car oozes power even while stationary.  

There is a seamless flow from the front lip to the exhaust pipes. The muscle rims and frowning front end give this car a very intimidating look.

So what about the man behind the beast? What drove him to put so much effort into this particular car. As he says himself, he'd always loved the Ford Capri since he was a young lad, and when this came up for sale he jumped at the chance to buy it.

"Some fellas love their football or soccer or whatever, but I've no interest really. All I talk about is cars, I love cars and Rally and all of that."

From speaking to David, it's clear that this car is like a child to him. After spending so much time and effort into it, I'm not at all surprised. In two years the car has only done 435 miles because, as David
says, the roads are just not suitable to drive it every day.

 Some cars are just that, cars. Others take on a personality of their own and become like friends or family to us, this is the perfect example of that. At some stage or another, all of us car lovers have one that we just adore, and if we ever sell them, regret it. David, however, has no intention of selling his pride and joy, and why should he. After putting such a mammoth effort into creating this.

So you'd imagine that it's job done at this stage? Wrong. David still has more plans for his Capri. He plans on fitting an RX-8 6 speed gear box and retro door cards. He wants to get a more retro look to the interior. Just further proof that a build is never truly complete.

Have a look at the pictures below to get a sense of just what kind of effort has been put into this.














Check out our previous post this E11 Corolla

If you would like your car featured, email photos to info@ireland-underground.com