Kilkenny councillors to urge Minister to deal with driving test backlog

Cllr Martin Brett said there were 741 people waiting as of July 9

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

Martin Brett brought the Notice of Motion

Kilkenny councillors are calling on the Minister for Transport to clarify when the backlog of driving tests will be cleared following a notice of motion agreed on Monday.

The motion was brought by Fine Gael councillor Martin Brett, who said that as of July 9, there were 741 drivers here on the list.

"It is causing a lot of hardship for people," said Cllr Brett.

The motion was seconded by Cllr Pat Dunphy and agreed by all.

The delays to driving tests around the country, because of Covid-19, will mean thousands of provisional licensed drivers will be forced to renew insurance policies for up to €600 more than a fully licensed driver, according to motor insurance experts Coverinaclick.ie. They say that figures from the RSA suggest that 33,000 drivers would have passed their test between the months of March and July, but as a result of test centre closures, they were unable to do so.

Deirdre McCarthy of Coverinaclick.ie, explained the scenario that is leading thousands of motorists looking at another year of high premiums, and advised these motorists to make informed decisions before renewing,

“Before Covid about 16,000 or 17,000 drivers were tested every month, and, on average, 8,383 people passed each month.," she said.

"The service had to be suspended on March 13 and was only able to resume earlier this week, on July 20. Drivers who pass their test are typically rewarded with premium reductions of between €300 and €600 at their next renewal, because they are able to get competitive quotes from several more insurers. Unfortunately, for the 33,000 drivers who would likely have passed their test between March and July, they will not see these reductions if their insurance renewal date arrives before their test date. Most insurers will give a pro-rata refund if a person passes their test mid-term. But many drivers are simply unaware of this, so we are advising them to check the insurers refund policy in this regard before renewing and to subsequently flag it with their insurer as soon as they have passed their test.”

RSA figures show that 36,000 drivers are currently awaiting a test, but Coverinaclick.ie say they are concerned that these waiting lists will dramatically expand, as centres deal with the backlog ,while possibly working at a more cautious pace to ensure compliance with Covid safety requirements.