Drivers can pay up to eight times more for insurance depending on their job – even when their profession is not considered risky.
Insurers ask car owners to declare their occupation when they apply for a policy, making it possible to work out which jobs incur the highest premiums.
Footballers pay £1,978 on average for car cover, making the profession the most expensive to insure, according to MoneySuperMarket, the price comparison website.
The average car insurance premium is £469, and soccer stars pay 684pc more for cover than cheapest group does.
Those who list their employment as “sportsperson” would pay £1,511, the second-highest premium. They are followed by fast-food delivery drivers (£1,291), scrap dealers (£1,286) and apprentices (£1,243).
The rationale behind some professions paying more is clear: high-paid sports stars are known for their love of fast cars, which cost more to replace or repair than cheaper vehicles.
Higher premiums should also be expected for those whose job involves high mileage, such as delivery drivers, and those who tend to be young with little driving experience, such as apprentices.
But the logical link between profession and premium seems to end there. One group that pays top rates for motor insurance is car wash attendants (£1,237), despite the trade not being obviously risky.
Likewise, the average town clerk, a seemingly sedate role, will pay £1,124 to insure their vehicle, more than what you might assume to be the much higher-risk category of bouncers (£1,113), who work late, long hours dealing with inebriated partygoers.
The same apparently skewed logic applies to the roles associated with the lowest premiums. Exam invigilators are the cheapest group to insure (£252), but are not known for being particularly excellent drivers or owning cheap cars.
Despite having a high-mileage job, newspaper delivery drivers pay the second-lowest premiums (£268) – but those who choose to deliver fast food instead pay the third-highest.
Rachel Wait of MoneySuperMarket said the reason some professions paid oddly high or low amounts was down to insurers’ databases of claims. Firms will see links between certain jobs and the chance of making a claim, but this information is hidden from the public.
“Insurance companies keep massive amounts of information on claims they’ve paid in the past, which then influences the way they calculate a premium,” Ms Wait said. “As a result, some professions are seen as more of a risk.”
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said drivers should shop around because insurers formed different conclusions on how risky a profession was. “Your occupation can, along with a wide range of other factors, including your age, type of vehicle and driving record, affect your premium,” the spokesman said.
Telegraph Money has previously discovered that making tweaks to job titles can cut premiums drastically.
A bank teller can save £130 a year by describing the job as “bank clerk” rather than “cashier”, while someone in accounting can cut their premium by more than £100 by choosing “bookkeeper” instead of “finance officer”.