Car insurance prices at highest point in two years
With the cost of car insurance up 5% year-on-year to an average of £815, now's the time to shop around for a better deal.
Motorists across the UK will be feeling the pinch of rising car insurance costs, according to new data.
Figures from the Confused.com car insurance price index, powered by Willis Towers Watson, show the cost of cover went up 4% over the past three months – equivalent to a £32 rise.
Following these recent increases, the average price of car insurance is now nearing the 2011 peak of £858, with motorists today paying just £43 (5%) less than this record price.
And if prices continue to rise at the current rate, drivers may be paying a new record by the end of 2020.
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Men pay £87 more than women
This past quarter (Q4 2019) saw prices ramp up for female drivers in particular, who are now paying £48 (7%) more than 12 months ago.
This means they can now expect to pay £767 for their car insurance, on average.
However, prices remain higher for men, who pay £854 in comparison, following a £37 (5%) increase year-on-year. This brings the gap between the two to £87, on average
Men 'riskier' to insurers
Due to the EU Gender Directive, insurers can't calculate insurance prices for a driver based on their sex. But there are other risk factors that cause men to have higher premiums.
For example, men tend to drive more expensive cars, which typically have larger engines and/or newer technology.
This tends to make for higher-value claims in the event of an accident.
Men also typically have more motoring convictions than women, as highlighted in our ‘Gender Gap in 100 Drivers’ research, which can also push average prices up.
It's unclear whether the UK will keep, amend or abolish the Gender Directive in a post-Brexit world.
Before the EU Gender Directive was introduced in December 2012, men paid upto £121 more for their car insurance than women (Q4 2011).
Car insurance rises most sharply in London
Drivers in some regions may feel particularly inclined to shop around following the sting of recent increases.
Those in Inner London, in particular, have seen the cost of their insurance soar by £91 (8%) in the past 12 months.
As the most expensive region in the UK for car insurance, motorists in Inner London are now paying an eye-watering £1,260 for their premiums, on average.
Meanwhile, increases in Scotland mean some drivers are very close to paying the highest prices on record for the region.
A £46 (7%) yearly increase in prices in Central Scotland brings the average price of car insurance just £2 below the most expensive price on record.
And those in East and North East Scotland are paying just £9 less than the highest price for this region, following a £39 (7%) increase in prices year-on-year, on average.
READ MORE: How do I save money on car insurance?
'Shopping around is key'
Louise O’Shea, CEO at Confused.com, says:
“It’s January, the month to save money and re-evaluate our spending. But the bad news is car insurance costs are increasing. And, as drivers, this is something we can’t avoid. If costs continue to accelerate at this pace, we could be paying record prices by the end of the year.
“Shopping around is key to saving on car insurance. And even if your renewal price is cheaper, or the same, it’s likely there will be another insurer out there willing to offer a better price.
“At Confused.com, we’re so certain drivers will be able to find a better price than their current insurer, that we’re offering to beat their renewal quote, or give them the difference, plus £20.
“Please don’t pay more than you have to - take a few minutes to check your renewal letter and get a cheaper price.”
Have you stayed with your current insurer this year, or did you shop around? Let us know in the comments!