Nurses’ car insurance costs set to jump, while pay remains ‘stuck in first gear’

Study highlights living costs pressures, as profession ranks seventh highest for premiums
Picture shows a car being driven on an open road in a rural area

Study highlights living costs pressures, as profession ranks seventh highest for premium costs

Picture shows a car being driven on an open road in a rural area
Picture: iStock

Nurses could be asked to pay an extra £155 in car insurance premiums this year, at a time when their pay levels ‘remain stuck in first gear’.

According to a study by vehicle leasing company Vanarama of how job titles affect insurance premiums, nurses will pay an average of £507.07 for car insurance in 2021 – the seventh highest out of 100 job titles. In 2020 nurses were 19th highest, paying on average £352.29.

Many nurses rely on their car for work

RCN acting director for England Patricia Marquis said: ‘This is yet another example of the increased living costs nurses are facing while their pay levels remain stuck in first gear.

‘Many nurses rely on their car to get to and from work and have no choice about whether to pay for insurance. Housing costs are forcing nursing staff to live further from work, and they work shifts, making access to public transport difficult.

‘If the government does not act soon, nurses will be driven out of the profession they love because they cannot afford to live.’

‘Health workers get the worst deal’

Vanarama used price comparison websites and entered the same criteria as in 2020, with variables being an extra year for the ages of the driver and car. It said: ‘Health workers get the worst deal, as the only sector with an average figure in excess of £500 a year.’ It also said female drivers are charged nearly £20 a year more than men.

The RCN is continuing its campaign for a 12.5% pay rise, following the government’s proposal of a 1% increase in the 2021-22 pay round for NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts. The independent Pay Review Body, which advises ministers on NHS pay, is expected to offer its recommendations later this month.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said the work of nurses during the pandemic had been acknowledged via a pay rise for NHS staff at a time when pay deals in the wider public sector had been paused. They said more than one million NHS staff have already benefited from multiyear pay deals, including a 12% increase in the starting salary of a newly qualified nurse.

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