Car Insurance Cost Fall 'Will Not Last'

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Car insurance premiums are said to have gone into reverse gear by £360 (13.6%) for young drivers - but there are concerns costs could rise dramatically after next month's EU gender ruling.

Insurance (Euronext: SIN.NX - news) comparison site Confused.com has advised 17 to 20-year-old drivers to take advantage of "today's preferential rates" but warned them to avoid 2013's predicted price hikes by "shopping around".

Average comprehensive car insurance prices now stand at £757 as of this year's third quarter, compared to £843 for last year's third quarter - a significant year-on-year fall of £87 (10.3%).

Car insurance prices actually fell for all age groups, particularly young female drivers, but predictions from the Treasury indicate that young female drivers could see rises of up to 24% after the EU gender ruling becomes law on December 12.

After this date women and men cannot be priced differently for insurance meaning women will no longer directly benefit from being statistically less risky drivers as far as insurers are concerned.

This predicted insurance price rise could affect female drivers throughout various age groups, according to the Treasury data.

Sharon Flaherty, editor of Confused.com, told Sky News: "At the moment women pay less than men and statistically this is because on average they are less of a risk on the roads than young male drivers.

"However the bad news is that on December 21 the law change will mean that men and women have to be judged as exactly the same on the roads.

"Women will effectively be charged more because statistically they will no longer be allowed to be rated as safer on the roads."

Women aged 26-30 years are forecast an 18% price hike once the gender directive takes effect. Female drivers aged 31-35 are expected to suffer a 10% price rise.

Smaller price rises are expected for women aged 36-40 who are predicted to experience a 3% rise, and 41 to 45-year-old female drivers are only expected to receive a 1% price rise for their future car insurance policies.

Women on average saw their premiums shrink by 11.7% over all in the third quarter.

For spouses of either gender the average premium cost for a joint insurance policy is a lot less than average costs for solo drivers.

Male drivers insured plus spouse are quoted on average £432, compared to £907 as insured only driver, for women it costs an average of £787 for insured only driver cover, but just £418 for women who have a spouse on their policy.

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