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EU Gender Ruling: Beat the price hikes!

A toy car with pound coins falling out of itThe EU gender ruling will see car insurance price rises, especially for young women, from 21 December. We've compiled a list of ways to reduce insurance costs whatever your gender.

Renew now!

The cost of car insurance for women aged 17 to 25 will rise by up to 24 per cent after the EU gender ruling takes effect, according to government estimates.

This is an increase on £299 based on current prices for this age group, according to the latest (Q3 2012) Watson car insurance price index.

So if you’re a young woman and your car insurance is due for renewal in the next few months, it’s worth considering running a quote NOW.

If you find a new policy for the same or less than you're paying now, consider cancelling your current policy in favour of this new one, especially if your existing cover is due to run out shortly after the 21 December ban comes into effect.

This will allow you to lock in at current prices for the next 12 months.

Don’t forget to factor in any charge for cancelling your current policy and whether you’ll be entitled to any pro-rata refund. You’ll also need to factor in the potential loss of any no claims bonus.

Read our guide to cancelling your car insurance.

Consider telematics/black box insurance

More providers are offering telematics insurance policies, also known as black box insurance, where a gadget is installed into your car which monitors your driving behaviour, such as acceleration and braking.

This in-car gadget scores your driving. A good score will result in your car insurance premium being lowered. This means good driving is rewarded.

These insurance policies are particularly good for young drivers who face the highest premiums of all age groups due to their higher risk of being involved in a road accident.

Telematics or black box insurance allows young drivers to be scored on their individual driving skills, and not that of their entire age group.

Responsible, safe driving is rewarded by offering lower premiums that reflect that you represent less risk to the insurer.

Want to try before you buy? Click to find out more about the new, free MotorMate smartphone app that mimics how a telematics or black box device works.

Small cars are cheaper

The UK insurance industry uses a grouping system that rates all cars on a scale of 1 to 50 based on how much that vehicle costs to repair following an accident.

The lower your car is grouped, the cheaper the premiums are likely to be.

Cars with smaller engines tend to be in low insurance groups so will cost less to insure.

Cars with larger engines, sports models, and cars with additional features will be more expensive to insure.

How you use your car

If your car is mainly for social use, say so. This covers motorists for normal day-to-day driving, such as a visit to family, friends or to go shopping.

This type of cover is cheaper as the less the car is used during peak hours, the lower the risk of you being involved in an accident so the lower your premium.

If you use your car for commuting or business use, it’s likely you’ll be charged more for cover as you’ll be on the road at the busiest times.

Get your mileage right

Many people overestimate their mileage but this can result in a higher premium as from an insurer's point of view, the more you're on the road, the more risk you run of an accident.

So spend a little time trying to estimate as best you can how many miles you're likely to drive each year.

If you're not sure how much you drive, look back at your last two MOT documents which will show your mileage for that period.

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Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick covers all things consumer for She started out on a weekly newspaper, via a national news agency and a stint in the fun but ‘not as glamorous as it appears on screen’ world of TV at the BBC researching consumer films for The One Show.

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