Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Pay as you drive car insurance

with 2 comments

Richmond Review

Quite a useful piece from the Review’s “Wheels” section, perhaps to offset the accompanying glowing reviews of the new Jaguar XK, Chevy Suburban, Cadillac SRX SUV and the 2008 (much larger, bigger engined) Dodge Caravan, with the useful thought that you could cut emissions if you could opt for PAYD.

Of course, opting for a more fuel efficient car in the first place would also help (he said, smugly, having just swapped his old Caravan for a Yaris) as ICBC has not really been willing to give this idea its due. Since it was they who commissioned Todd Litman to research this issue in the first place, he might perhaps feel a little under appreciated. Which may account for his organizing a letter-writing campaign to pressure ICBC brass and MLAs.

In fact you might do no better than read his new research paper on the topic.

I think it is an excellent idea since it seems to me that the risk is clearly greater the more kilometres the vehicle is driven. Perhaps the way to do it is to have a flat fee to cover risks like theft (which may go up if a vehicle is left idle longer) and a rate which varies depending on the vehicle size/cost and the driver’s rating. Or how about a rebate: you pay the standard rate up front, but get some money back if you do less than the specified kms? Though my personal preference would be something that leaves more money in the drivers pocket and gives him an incentive to drive less (and I do think it is the hims we need to get to!).

Written by Stephen Rees

September 21, 2007 at 1:30 pm

2 Responses

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  1. USA Today reports on a Pay as You drive experiment – but replacing gas tax as opposed to insurance. Since cas taxes are very low int he US I am not sure this is such a great idea. I do want to see prices that vary by congestion – as with HOT lanes in Minnesota – but I also want drivers of gas guzzlers to be levied for their choice of vehicle. The polluter pays principle still holds true.

    Stephen Rees

    September 23, 2007 at 12:31 pm

  2. […] a comment » The Tyee continues the campaign for Pay As You Drive car insurance, which this blog also has done for some years (as you can see from those links). As has the Tyee: […]


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