Campaigners urge Government to slash costly EU red tape

EU directives drive up the cost and effort of buying motor insurance, selling a property or getting a mortgage and should be dropped to help ordinary Britons reap the financial benefits of Brexit.

New research from specialist car insurer Sheilas’ Wheels shows young female motorists are paying out as much as £221 extra on insurance each year because of an EU gender ruling.

The directive, introduced in December 2012, made it illegal for insurers to base insurance premiums on whether the driver was male or female.

This was a blow for young female drivers who present a far lower risk than young males but may now pay the same for cover.

Collectively, women drivers in the UK are paying out over £500million every year unnecessarily because of the directive.

Sheilas’ Wheels is now calling on the UK Government to drop the gender directive to ensure safe female drivers are rewarded with cheaper premiums.

Jon Wilshire, chief underwriting officer at the insurer, said: “This is a typical example of the EU going mad with silly laws that do not make sense.”

Insurance is based on individual risk and safe female motorists should not be footing the bill for young male drivers who are more likely to make a costly claim, he added.

“With the UK leaving the EU we have an opportunity to remove this unnecessary layer of legislation and enable insurers to price for the individual motorist.”

Any change would be unlikely to drive up insurance costs for older male motorists as they present a similar insurance risk to women of the same age.

EU red tape also hits Britons when buying or selling a home by forcing vendors and buy-to-let landlords to pay for a costly energy assessment.

Since 2007, all UK properties listed for sale must produce an energy performance certificate (EPC) measuring the energy efficiency of their property.

This follows an EU directive and now also applies to rental properties.

Russell Quirk, founder of estate agency eMoov.co.uk, said that the EPC costs homeowners and landlords around £100million a year but is widely ignored.

“The energy rating is of little help to either buyer or seller and has not proven to reduce energy consumption.”

So far, more than 16million EPCs have been produced at a cost to ordinary Britons of over £800million.

Quirk has launched a Parliamentary petition to get them scrapped now that the UK has voted for Brexit.

The EU also insists that VAT must be charged at a minimum rate of 15 per cent, but Brexit could allow UK politicians to waive that on essentials such as home energy bills, cutting household costs.

Scrapping the EU Mortgage Directive, which forces lenders to carry out stringent affordability tests, could make it easier to get a mortgage.

Daily Express :: Personal Finance Feed