However, the first quarter of this year (Q1 2016) saw no change at all in prices, providing a welcome break for motorists. This, coupled with a lower than expected increase in Insurance Premium Tax in the recent Budget, should allow drivers to pocket a few extra pounds after what has been a tough year of ongoing price hikes.
Motorists across the country have all been affected by rising prices over the last 12 months, with every single region in the UK seeing double-digit annual price increases in their car insurance costs. And none more so than in Scotland, with drivers in the Hebrides facing a price rise of 28% annually – double that of the national average. Motorists in this region have also been dealt a second blow, with prices increasing by 32% quarterly as well, bucking the national trend.
Both men and women have been hit by steep hikes in premiums over the last 12 months, experiencing increases of 15% and 12% respectively.
As a result, the average premium for a male driver in Q1 2016 now stands at £705 (v. £615 in Q1 2015), and at £629 for a female driver (v. £560 in Q1 2015).
For 18-23 year-old drivers, the annual rise in the premiums has been steep, with all motorists in this age bracket experiencing a yearly increase of at least £100 – for 20 year olds their annual increase stands at £189.
However, 17 year olds have had an easier ride, experiencing an annual increase of just 1%, the smallest price hike of any age group. But it’s not all good news for these motorists, as they are one of only a handful of age groups to experience a quarterly price rise in Q1 2016, pushing their premiums up by £24 in the space of just three months, bringing their average car insurance price to £1,919.
And it’s not just younger drivers bearing the brunt of rising prices over the last year. Motorists aged 60 have faced the highest annual increase of any age group, with their premiums rising by 19% since Q1 2015, equating to a £68 rise.
Steve Fletcher, Head of Data Services at Confused.com says:
“The fact that comprehensive car insurance premiums have remained static over the quarter was not unexpected – insurers regularly cut prices in January, which has a knock-on effect for the remainder of the quarter.
“However, these savings should not be taken for granted. Insurance prices have been rising at a steady pace for the last 21 months, and the last few months are unlikely to be indicators of a period of stagnation.”