The average annual cost of comprehensive car insurance is £60 lower than it was 12 months ago, according to car insurance comparison website Confused.com.
By analysing 4 million quotes from the last three months, the website found that the average cost of comprehensive insurance is now £797, 7.1% lower than it was a year ago.
Young drivers have seen even bigger falls (from a very high starting point). The average quote on Confused.com for a 21 year-old driver is now 10.5% lower than 12 months ago. Despite this fall, 17-20 year-old male drivers are still paying an average of £2,491 per year for comprehensive insurance, a figure that rises to £5,394 in Manchester and Merseyside postcode districts and £5,330 in Inner London.
Females fare a bit better, with female drivers under 21 paying an average of £1,878.
According to the figures from Confused.com, age is still important when it comes to risk. The cheapest average premiums were awarded to drivers over 71, with drivers seeing a steady decline in insurance costs from their mid-40s onwards.
Who’d be a young driver today?
To be honest, insurance was expensive when I first took out my own policy, but never this expensive. Using this rather handy historical price widget, which takes inflation into account, I worked out that my first ever insurance policy would have cost me £1,400 in today’s prices — quite a long way below the £2,491 average young drivers are currently paying.
It was a stretch for me — I don’t really know how I would have afforded it if it had cost nearly twice as much.
Confused.com’s report also highlighted another interesting trend in insurance — the continued presence of the male-female divide!
According to the figures, male drivers pay an average of £110 more than female drivers for their car insurance. Of course, as I wrote last year, the EU has banned pricing that discriminates on the basis of sex and from 31st December 2012, it will become illegal to charge male drivers more for their insurance. At the time, I said:
Of course, it is discriminatory – in just the same way that it is discriminatory to prevent a four-year old from handling a kettle full of boiling water but to allow a ten-year old to do the same thing freely. It is a simple reflection of reality, which does discriminate between age, gender, physical and mental abilities and many other aspects of human nature.
It will be interesting to see if the insurance companies find some way around this restriction or simply choose to increase premiums for female drivers to match those for male drivers. According to Confused.com, there are already signs of this: for women aged 17-20, comprehensive car insurance prices increased by 0.5% over the second quarter this year, but for men of the same age group car insurance prices have fallen by 1.1%.
For the record, I don’t think it is unreasonable to charge men more, especially if they are young. All the statistical evidence shows that young male drivers are more likely to have serious accidents than anyone else. I was a young male driver once and while I wasn’t particularly reckless, looking back on it, I did have a pretty laid-back attitude towards risk.
What about you?
So what about you? Has your car insurance premium fallen this year, or are you a female driver worried that yours is about to go up? Leave a comment below and let me know!