New government legislation aimed at tackling the 'compensation culture' of UK motorists has been announced.
The new measures are aimed at cutting the costs of driving and tackling 'whiplash cheats'.
From next year, only evidence submitted by independent medical panels will be entered into whiplash insurance claim cases – meaning claimants will be unable to exaggerate or submit fraudulent reports.
According to the latest data, there were almost half a million whiplash claims in 2012, costing insurers more than £2 billion in payouts. The Department for Transport says the associated costs mean that average insurance premiums for drivers have risen by almost £90, with each claim working out at an average of £4400 in costs and compensation.
There will also be a freeze on the price of the MOT. The maximum for the annual road-worthiness test has been capped at £54.85 until 2015. The DfT says this could save UK drivers a total of up to £50 million each year.
New 'comparison road signs' for petrol prices will also be trialled across the UK's motorway network to promote competition on the forecourts.
The government has pledged to review its charges for the driving test, too. The cost of gaining a driving licence in the UK is now £143 – £31 for the theory test, £62 for the practical, with a further £50 for a provisional licence.
Speaking after the announcement, Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling said: "We are turning the tide on the compensation culture, and helping hard-working people by tackling high insurance premiums and other motoring costs.
"It’s not right that people who cheat the insurance system get away with it, while forcing up the price for everyone else – so we are now going after whiplash fraudsters, and will keep on driving premiums down."