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New drivers will need N plates from Aug

Wednesday, July 09 12:46:18

From August, changes to the Road Traffic Act will mean that N-plates will be introduced in Ireland - and it will be compulsory for newly qualified drivers to display these plates for two years.

Other changes include a fine of E60 for novice drivers and for those on learner permits who are not displaying 'N' or 'L' plates.

Novice drivers will also be subject to a penalty point limit of six points and a lower drink drive level.

While these will be compulsory legal requirements, experts at say that currently no insurer has indicated any changes/or new rates based on the new 'N' plate law. The motor insurance experts say that with regard to the increase to penalty points, car insurance companies will be looking at these in the same light as before, i.e. the more points you have the higher your car insurance premium will be.

According to Jonathan Hehir, "Younger and inexperienced drivers often have difficulty in taking out a motor insurance policy and it's unlikely that these changes will have any material effect on this - positively or negatively. While going direct for a motor insurance policy is favoured by some, it's often not advised for less experienced drivers as the number of insurers wanting to insure this group is greatly reduced, so it's important that they get experts to scour the market for the best deal".

According to the most recent figures from RSA (2013) the national average driving test pass rate is 55.27pc and experts at say that aside from the legalities associated with driving without a full licence, people often forget the huge financial benefits of passing the test. Figures from the motor insurance specialists reveal that people can save up to 30pc on their motor insurance premiums simply by achieving their full licence.