John Yap

VANCOUVER: The BC Liberals are calling for relief for parents of young drivers after John Horgan and the NDP raised ICBC rates for everyone who shares their car with a driver who has a learner’s permit.

“It is outrageous that John Horgan and the NDP are raising insurance rates on parents of young drivers. This move comes in the middle of an affordability crisis where 44 per cent of British Columbians are $200 or less away from insolvency at the end of each month,” said John Yap, BC Liberal ICBC Critic and Richmond-Steveston MLA. “On top of the more than $5 billion in increased taxes the NDP is charging British Columbians, parents here in the Lower Mainland are also going to be forking over $225 if they want their child to practice driving their car.”

The BC Liberals have been advocating for a root-and-branch overhaul of auto insurance in B.C. to bring choice in insurance, fair rates, and the best possible service for British Columbians. As a result of John Horgan and the NDP’s tinkering, B.C. drivers now pay an average of $1,832 a year for auto insurance. Drivers have seen the average ICBC premium go up by 18.2 per cent under the NDP, and ICBC projects a 24 per cent increase in premium prices over the next three years.

“People here in Surrey will be paying $225 to have someone with a learner’s permit operate their vehicle,” added Tracy Redies, Surrey-White Rock MLA. “John Horgan and the NDP raised taxes across the board. To make matters worse, they are now adding further costs to parents with teenagers on top of the rate increase at ICBC that went into effect this month. How is that helping make British Columbia more affordable?”

Drivers in Surrey and the Lower Mainland will be charged the highest rate of $225.23, which will increase every year for the next 10 years. The Squamish/Whistler area will experience a $193.28 learner’s premium and the Cariboo region will be hit with a rate of $161.34.

“Parents in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will be facing a $214 premium if their child is turning 16 this year and wants to learn to drive on their car,” concluded Yap. “Driving lessons are expensive and John Horgan’s plan to punish parents during an affordability crisis won’t accomplish anything good for young families in British Columbia. This is nothing more than a cash grab by John Horgan to balance ICBC’s books on the backs of B.C. drivers.”