Motorists are facing the biggest annual hikes in car insurance premiums in five years, with prices rising by £115 over the last 12 months.
The cost of car insurance rose by 19% in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year.
That’s according to the latest Confused.com car insurance price index, powered by Willis Towers Watson.
Drivers can now expect to pay £715 on average for a comprehensive car insurance premium, compared to £600 this time last year.
£44 added to premiums in last three months
Not since 2011 have motorists experienced hikes of this magnitude, when prices were up 25% on the previous year.
Over the shorter term, prices during the second quarter of the year, which covers April to June, are up by 6% compared with the previous quarter.
This equals an additional £44 on premiums over the last three months alone.
Increases of this magnitude, coupled with rising petrol prices and last year’s hike in insurance premium tax, could well signal the end of the road for cheaper driving for motorists.
The gender gap widens to £92
Both men and women have seen their premiums rise substantially over the last 12 months, increasing 21% and 17% respectively.
This means men typically pay £129 more for their car insurance now than they did the same time last year, while women pay £98 more.
As a result, the average man’s premium now stands at £756 and a women’s premium equals £664, a difference of £92.
This time three years ago the difference was only £27, showing the gap between men’s and women’s prices is widening.
Older drivers bear the brunt of price hikes
Drivers aged 61 have seen the steepest annual rises - their prices are up by 24%, taking the average premium to £418.
Meanwhile, younger drivers have fared slightly better than their elder counterparts.
17-year-olds, for example, have only experienced an 8% rise since last year.
However, their average premium has once again broken the £2,000 barrier and now stands at £2,013.
Price increases felt around the UK
These steep increases in premiums are being felt across the UK, with no region escaping the annual hikes.
Motorists in Northern Ireland have seen their insurance premiums increase by 25% annually - the highest increase of any region in the UK.
Their average premium now stands at £863.
Drivers in London may also have cause to despair, with those in Inner London paying the highest premiums of any region in the UK at £1,164 - more than the £449 above the national average.
‘A sizeable dent in driver’s pockets’
The Confused.com car insurance price index began in 2006 and looks at more than four million car insurance quotes every three months.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “We’ve not seen price rises of this magnitude for five years – a 19% annual increase is substantial to say the least.
“And these price rises are being felt across the board, for drivers of all ages and genders, across all UK regions.
“If prices continue to rise at the rate we’ve been seeing, we could be facing the possibility of average comprehensive premiums breaching the all-time high seen in 2011, when they peaked at £858.
“This, combined with rising fuel prices and increased motoring costs across the board, could result in a sizeable dent in drivers’ pockets.”