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Young drivers' car insurance costs fall

Good news for young drivers: The average cost of car cover is down by between 12% and 23%, according to Confused.com's car insurance price index.

Woman taking drive with boyfriendYoung men and women have benefitted from a fall in car insurance prices in the last three months of 2013.

The average annual cost of cover for men aged 17 to 20 fell by 23.6% to £2,261 – a saving of £698 compared with prices this time last year.

The cost of car insurance for women aged 17 to 20 has fallen by 12.3% to £1,742 – a decrease of £244 over the past 12 months.

Car insurance price drop

There have also been price falls for young drivers aged between 21 and 25.

Male drivers in this age group are now paying an average of £1,335 for annual cover compared with £1,542 a year ago – a 12% price drop.

And female drivers aged 21 to 25 now pay £936.24 a year for car insurance, down from £1,091 a year ago – a 14% price drop.

Confused.com car insurance price index

This is according to the latest quarterly Confused.com car insurance price index.

The index analyses more than 4 million quotes to reflect what prices drivers have been paying for cover.

This latest index looks at car insurance prices between the start of October and the end of December 2013.

Why are car insurance prices falling?

Gemma Stanbury is head of car insurance at Confused.com.

The European Union"The fall in prices can be partly attributed to the European Union (EU) Gender Directive," says Stanbury.

This law came into effect in December 2012 and said insurers had to stop using gender to set car insurance prices.

In the past, because women are statistically proven to have fewer road accidents than male drivers, women paid less for car insurance as they were less likely to make a claim.

So if an insurer was presented with a male and female driver with the same car, location, mileage and so on, the female would typically have received a cheaper insurance quote than the male.

But following this EU gender ban, the gap between what men and women are charged for car insurance has narrowed in 2013.

And what happened is that men have seen a fall in car insurance costs in 2013 compared with the previous year, while women saw prices rise.

Car insurance costs and gender

Of course, you might wonder why there are still differences between what men and women pay for cover.

Stanbury explains: "Although insurers can't set prices differently based on gender, there are many other rating factors car insurance providers take into account.

"For example, men typically drive more powerful cars which means their insurance would be more expensive than women."

Car insurance price rises predicted

And while Stanbury welcomes the fall in the cost of cover, she warns of price rises in coming months.

"Insurance prices can be cyclical and we have seen rates falling for a while now," she explains.

"And the latest car insurance price index highlights that price rises could be on the horizon, with men in some older age groups experiencing small price rises.

Drivers urged to shop around for car cover

Stanbury says: "The car insurance price index does give us a good overview of prices as a whole.

"However, car insurance is very much rated on the individual, so we would recommend that drivers shop around on comparison sites like Confused.com to get the best deal.

"By doing so this could be a great opportunity for motorists to take advantage of these latest price drops."

Click the link for more tips for cheaper car insurance.

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