In less than a month car insurance prices for young female drivers have increased by nearly a quarter.
The hike adds an extra £231 to the average policy, taking it to £1,275 for women between 17 and 19 years old, according to analysis by Moneysupermarket.com.
The price surge is thanks to EU rules that took effect on December 21, which banned insurers taking gender into account when setting prices.
Even though young female drivers are statistically much less likely to have an accident than men of the same age, it’s now against the law for this to be factored into pricing.
The cost increases have been branded a “gender tax” on women by Gareth Kloet of Confused.com.
At the same time, men aged 17 to 19 have seen a drop of 11% on the cost of cover – a saving of £184, but still more than women – with an average policy now costing £1,456. This is likely to be a result of other factors, such as which car they drive or the number of driving offences.
Across the board, the cost of car insurance has actually decreased by 5% since the changes, handed down by a ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), took effect.
Peter Harrison, insurance expert at Moneysupermarket, said: “Young female motorists are currently experiencing the impact of the ECJ ruling, while young male drivers are seeing a benefit, but it is important to note that young male drivers still pay more for car insurance than any other group.”
How to cut car insurance costs
The introduction of gender-neural pricing has led many experts to recommend telematics insurance for young drivers. The ‘pay as you go’ policies reward safe drivers by generating premiums based on driving habits.
Data is recorded by a box fitted to a customer’s car, so if your risk of claiming is higher, for instance if a driver regularly takes to the road late at night, during rush hour or breaks the speed limit, the cost of a policy increases. Obviously, these policies are only a good idea for someone who takes genuine care on the roads.
If you’re not sure, the AA and Confused.com have mobile apps that allow drivers to track their habits behind the wheel, users can use the data to decide whether telematics cover would be a good option.
The cost of car insurance can also be cut by increasing your excess, which is what you have to pay before making a claim. But make sure that it’s still affordable if claim had to be made.
Insures can bump up policy costs at each renewal, so drivers should compare policies each year to find the best value – even if that means going back to your existing insurer as a new customer.
The type of car insured makes a significant impacted on the cost of motor cover. All cars in the UK fall into one of approximately 50 insurance categories, depending on engine size and the cost of repairs for the model. Before buying, check how much the car will cost to insure. ‘Pimping your ride’ also increases the cost of car insurance so avoid spoilers and alloys.
Finally, look at adding a parent or partner to your policy, which can reduce the cost – particularly for younger drivers – though be careful not to change the main driver, which is considered as insurance fraud and can leave a policy void.