More than 5500 Australian motorists have signed a petition for a partial refund of their car registration and compulsory third party insurance costs as most drivers are using their vehicles less during COVID-19 lockdowns.
The online petition was launched last Wednesday by One Big Switch, a price comparison and matching website. “People need every dollar they can get right now,” a representative told CarAdvice. “[Motorists] think it's fundamentally unfair to pay full price for services they're unable or unlikely to access during the crisis.”
The petition operator says the petition’s reception is unlike anything it’s seen in recent years. The organisation predicts the number of signatures received on its website could increase to more than 10,000 in the coming days.
“We haven't seen a response to a campaign like this in a couple of years,” the representative for One Big Switch said.
“We only launched on Wednesday so it could be tens of thousands before long at this rate.”
As this article was published, approximately 35 per cent of signatures had come from New South Wales, with 27 per cent from Queensland, 20 per cent from Victoria, eight per cent from South Australia, seven per cent from Western Australia, two per cent from Northern Territory and one per cent from the ACT.
While the petition for refunded or rebated registration and compulsory insurance costs extends to all states, the company does not intend to advise state governments how great a discount they should provide.
“We're not going to prescribe what each state government should do,” One Big Switch told CarAdvice. “They have policy experts who can work out where their costs have dropped and who best to target relief to.”
“But we think it's only fair to give partial refunds to those who are not using the roads because they're staying home to help flatten the curve, and especially to those who have lost income and are still paying full price for rego and compulsory insurance.”
Coronavirus has seen governments enact restrictions for non-essential travel, resulting in less car-usage and a steep decline in the road death-toll.
Car insurer Youi announced last week that – due to reduced accident claims during travel restrictions – it would provide reduced premium rates for policy-holders using their car less during COVID-19 travel restrictions.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This story originally included a link to the petition, however, the petition will only appear if you sign up as a member/user. This story is not a paid partnership, and for clarity on that point, we have removed the link. We are reporting on this petition as a matter of general interest only.)
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