‘Idiot taxes’ contributing to debt fears?

A number of people may be exacerbating their debt troubles through carelessness and neglect, it has been suggested.

New research carried out by MSN…

A number of people may be exacerbating their debt troubles through carelessness and neglect, it has been suggested.

New research carried out by MSN Money revealed Britons are wasting a combined £4.4 billion a year through acts that it has coined ‘idiot taxes’.

These practices include avoidable mishaps, such as putting the wrong fuel in a car engine.

An MSN Money poll found the most often repeated idiot tax is mobile phone loss and breakage.

Around a quarter of those surveyed admitted paying large amounts to replace their handsets, which equates to the nation shelling out an annual £2.4 billion.

Moreover, forgetting to return a library book or a DVD can prove another costly mistake, as 20 per cent claimed to have fallen foul of this idiot tax, resulting in £7.6 million being paid.

An additional £547 million every 12 months is forked out by motorists putting the incorrect fuel into their vehicles.

The study found one-in-ten drivers often make this error.

In London, ten per cent of car owners stated they have forgotten to pay the congestion charge, resulting in £91 million a year of extra fees.

Other bad habits included losing a wallet or purse, forgetting a plane or train ticket, locking house keys inside a property and misplacing a laptop.

Simon Ward, senior editor at the organisation, said: “Ensuring we are keeping on top of basic costs and trying to keep a more watchful eye out is key to saving money in the long run.”

Endsleigh recently advised students heading off to university to be careful with their belongings after it calculated the average university goer will be packing around £4,000 worth of possessions.

By James Francis

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