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Young drivers paying 50% more for car insurance



Young drivers are facing increasing insurance premiums.

A study carried out by an insurance brokers specialising in young-drivers has found that the rates being offered to young drivers by insurance companies, particularly to those with low levels of experience, have increased by an average of over 50% since this 2014 and up to 90% in some cases.

Experts at say that typical zero-experience starter premiums were €2,000-€2,500, but €3,500-€4,000 is now becoming all too common for a 12 month policy – particularly from Irish-based Insurers.

“There’s much talk about 15-20% increases for motor insurance, but young drivers are being hit particularly hard as more insurers pull back from this sector of the market,” said According to Jonathan Hehir, Managing Director at

“Premiums are facing ‘upward only’ increases so motorists need to minimise these increases where and when possible. Motorists dealing with brokers that have access bigger UK/ London insurers will fare better when it comes to rates as Irish based insurers continue in their attempts to recover losses. There’s a subtle but quickening trend in the market now to place business with UK based insurers such as Lloyds, because Irish-based insurers simply cannot offer competitive rates at the moment,” he said.

The insurance brokers say that new young drivers are definitely faring worse than those who have already had insurance in place for the last few years.

“While we’re seeing huge increases in premiums for starter drivers, it isn’t as evident for our existing clients who are facing renewal – for a number of reasons – firstly, by the time they get to their first renewal their additional driving experience will help to mitigate the increase.

“In addition, anyone hit with a hugely increased premium is automatically re-broked to our London based Lloyds insurers who aren’t carrying the losses of the Irish insurers, and are offering far better terms.

“By way of advice to consumers I would really just stress the importance of shopping around. There is still good value to be achieved in the marketplace you just need to do your homework – or get an expert to do it for you,” he said. say there are a few measures you can take to reduce your motor insurance bill

  • Check the differences between third party fire and theft and comprehensive it might not be financially sound to pay the difference depending on the value of the vehicle. Only pay for the cover you require – if your car is a banger, there’s little point in having comprehensive cover
  • Additional security features can make a difference so make sure you tell your broker if you have an alarm, immobilizer or if your car is kept in a garage – it all adds up.
  • Ask your insurance company if you are eligible for a discount if you have more than one policy with their company. You may find the more policies you have with them, the more money you save.
  • If you’re at the position where you’re buying a car – consider engine size – this will invariably effect your insurance premiums
  • Try adding a driver to your policy – for example in a lot of cases the insured and spouse/partner rate is lower the insured only.


Connacht Tribune

Western Motors to host EV information day



The Volkswagen ID.7.

Recent registration figures released at the end of last month show that the Volkswagen’s ID.4 is the best-selling electric car in Ireland. Since it arrived in 2021 there has been nearly 6,000 registered and it now leads the charge to electrification here making it officially Ireland’s number one electric EV.

Even more exciting for the brand is the arrival of their new ID.7, the brand’s first global electric model for the upper mid-size class. It was launched globally last month, and Volkswagen chiefs are promising a battery range of 700km. This is massive step up for Volkswagen and will be a game changer for the brand.

Volkswagen Ireland are saying that it will arrive here later this year, and prices will be announced closer to that Irish launch date.

“With the ID.7 we are taking the next step in our electric offensive,” said Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

“The saloon offers a high level of comfort and long ranges. Already by 2026, we will offer the widest electric range of all manufacturers in Europe. Our goal is to achieve an electric car share of 80% in Europe by 2030. As from 2033, Volkswagen will produce only electric vehicles in Europe.”

Galway Volkswagen dealers, Western Motors are holding an electric vehicles information event on Thursday May 25 where they will have information on hand for potential buyers of any of the Volkswagen EV range.

The Western Motors sales team and service team will be able to provide information on along with additional information on the grants available and application for same and electrician to talk about the EV Charging Boxes and so forth.

For more information, call Western Motors on (091) 709970.


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Connacht Tribune

Award-winning IONIQ 6 is set to rock the Irish market



The Hyundai IONIQ 6.

Following the success of the Hyundai IONIQ 5, we now have the IONIQ 6, a completely different kettle of fish with the same running gear but a completely different design.

Both have been lauded at world level as the IONIQ 6 follows the 5 by winning the 2023 World Car of the Year title.

Not only did it pick up this gong, but it also won the 2023 World Electric Vehicle as well as the 2023 World Car Design of the Year awards.

This is the second consecutive triple win for the Hyundai Motor Group – the Hyundai IONIQ 5 was last year’s winner in the same three categories. A jury of 100 international automotive journalists from 32 countries selected the winners by secret ballot based on their evaluation of each eligible vehicle as part of their on-going professional work.

Up to now, the majority of electric vehicles have been SUVs. It’s the most popular shape of our times as buyers go for taller features and practical family characteristics. It might be strange that Hyundai would bring out the IONIQ 6 which is more like a coupe styled sedan with a lower, striking silhouette that they describe as a ‘streamliner’.

It certainly looks pretty special and while it uses the same battery, motors and platform. There are indications however that it is somewhat offers better range than the IONIQ 5. It is lower to the ground and has a lower drag co efficiency meaning reduced resistance and hence, better distance from a charge.

Under WLPT measurement the car has been tested to return 614km on a full charge. And, it can be charged at a much faster speed than other cars on the market; 315km in just 15 minutes.

There’s also a host of clever technology on board. Of course, a lot of what’s on offer these day are just toys and are not needed for everyday driving but, it is what the customer wants and he/she is always right! You can even opt to have the door mirrors on screens inside the car with cameras outside taking the pictures.

Prices for the Signature version with a 53kW battery starts at €48,295 rising toe €71,250 for the top-of-the-range Finesse all-wheel drive model with a 77kW battery.

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Connacht Tribune

Alfa Romeo making a comeback with the stunning new Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4



The Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV Q4.

By Gerry Murphy

There is always a flutter of expectancy when a car company like Alfa Romeo brings out a completely new car. Since the heady days of the Alfa 156, the fortunes of the manufacturer have been slowly eroding and they now need their new Tonale to be loved more than ever.

Launched a couple of weeks ago, the Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4 is truly a landmark for the Italian brand. In what they call the Alfa Romeo’s “zero to zero” process, which will take it from being a 0% electrified brand at the start of 2022 to being a zero-emissions, 100% electric brand by 2027 it will start off a complete conversion in just five years.

Indeed Alfa Romeo has positioned itself to be one of the fastest automotive brands to reach carbon neutrality.

Alfa bosses tell us that the Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4 combines maximum efficiency and Italian sportiness; the all-electric range (AER) is 56km, up to 80km all-electric range city, 600km in the total cycle and emissions reduced from 29g/km.

I have had the pleasure of taking the new Tonale for an extended test drive on the day of its official launch recently. The best compliment that I can give the car is that it is a ‘proper’ Alfa. Those who have history with the brand will fully understand what that means and why it is important that it lives up to its heritage.

The interior especially wraps itself around the driver just as in the days of old. It is a wonderful place to be, and you are completely at one with the vehicle. The quality is right up the in the premier league; dark and moody with clever details and the right amount of new technology.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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