Sorry, was that headline a new low? Britney Spears bit the bullet this week and turned herself into a Los Angeles police station to be booked following her August hit-and-run peccadillo. The troubled pop tart is accused of hitting a parked car and then running away, hopefully not as fast as she could.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department said: "She was fine, cooperative. She did her business and came out," which makes her sound rather like a particularly slow puppy.
MoneyExpert takes a look at Britney, as well as common driving offences and insurance news.
Crash test dummy
Hitting and running was not the only embarrassment in store for our favourite songstress. It seems that along with forgetting she could not park, the poor girl forgot she did not hold a valid Californian licence, leading to a second charge of driving without one. Britney, Britney, Britney. Tut.
Oops I made the headlines for doing something foolish again
Yet there could be another casualty littering the path of Britney’s recent behaviour. No, not her children, nor her little dog – whose name according to the lovely people at Celebrity Dog Watcher is London – but in fact, her insurance premiums.
Oh yes, past mishaps must be declared if her car insurance is to remain valid, which parked cars everywhere hope that it will be.
For ladies who enjoy their cars
Britney is now 25 and really ought to be enjoying the benefits of slightly more reasonable premiums. A recent study by the AA found that younger drivers are hit the hardest when it comes to costly cover. Over the last three months, the cost of third-party, fire and theft car insurance has rocketed by 3.57 per cent, bringing the average quoted premium to £1,042.41 – the highest ever amount.
This type of insurance is typically bought by younger drivers, reports the AA. It says increased premiums are "inevitable" thanks to rising costs brought about by personal injury claims and the recent flooding.
John Close, insurer relations director at AA Insurance, said the rise in cost reflected the level of accidents among young divers. "I support the Transport Select Committee’s proposal to increase to 18 the minimum age for holding a full driving licence. The AA also believes teaching a responsible attitude towards driving should be part of the national curriculum," he commented.
Driving without due flair
Britney is not the only mum who could find herself with insurance issues. A recent study revealed "thousands" of parents and grandparents could be unintentionally breaking the law. Yes, even grannies!
Many loving relatives have sought to help out their newly-driving offspring but have actually unknowingly committed fraud which could raise their premiums and leave their younger drivers without cover. Research by Zurich Insurance found one in ten people had insured their child or grandchild’s car in their name and then added the real driver to the cover to lower premiums, a practice known in the business as "fronting".
Affronted insurers fight back
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned that it is fighting back against all fraudulent claims, having revealed the resulting cost to the industry is around £1.6 billion, adding £40 a year to premiums paid by more honest customers.
Fronting families be wary, director of general insurance with the ABI Nick Starling has a stark warning for all fraudsters: "Insurance cheats are more likely to be caught than ever before. And cheats will pay a high price as future insurance and credit will be more expensive and harder to obtain."
Whether you are a pouting poplet or a driving diva, it is always worth hunting around the best possible deal on your car insurance. Research by Sainsbury’s Bank revealed one in five drivers only sought out one quote for their car insurance, despite more than a third reporting an increase in their premiums.
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