Government announces package of measures that 'bring down the cost of motoring'

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Government announces package of measures that 'bring down the cost of motoring'

Ministers have put together a package of proposed changes that aim to drive down the sky-high cost of motoring in the UK.

The plans include a harsh crackdown on the "compensation culture' that is currently driving up the cost of insurance for many motorists. Fraudulent whiplash claims will be a focal point, with independent medical panels due to be set up to tackle exaggerated or false claims.

Ministers are also considering freezing the price of the annual MoT test, a statuary maximum price for an MoT test will be pledged at £54.85 for a car until 2015.

New signage could also be introduced to UK roads that highlights the inflated cost of petrol and diesel that is often found on motorways. In some areas petrol and diesel can cost 10p per litre more at motorway service stations.

The government could install a series of price comparison signs that highlight the true cost of fuel at all stations on a certain route, allowing motorists to select a station with the cheapest fuel, even if it requires a slight detour.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the BBC's Radio 5 Live programme: "We are turning the tide on the compensation culture and helping hard-working people by tackling high insurance premiums and other motoring costs.

"It's not right that people who cheat the insurance system get away with it while forcing up the price for everyone else - so we are now going after whiplash fraudsters and will keep on driving premiums down."

It is believed that the UK's rate of whiplash claims is "way higher" than the rest of Europe and GP Dr Rosemary Leonard told BBC Breakfast that, "it is thought an awful lot of them are bogus".

"If you had a genuinely nasty shunt in your car and you went to your doctor and you said 'Well my neck's aching a bit,' and the doctor just said 'Well actually I don't believe you,' you would quite rightly be very annoyed.

"So as GPs we're in this position where we have to go along with what the patient says, because if we don't and it's a genuine case we could be sued."

Roads minister Robert Goodwill backed the proposed changes and Sky News: "The costs of owning and running a car are felt by millions of households and businesses across the nation. The Government is determined to help keep those costs down.

"That is why we are freezing the price for an MOT test and looking again at the costs associated with getting a driving licence.

"We also want to make it easier for people to get a better deal on fuel at motorway service stations, for instance through a trial of motorway signs that will show motorists the different fuel prices on offer on their route."