Car insurance costs fall, but men still paying more

Some good news for hard-pressed motorists at last, as a report published today shows that competition is once again driving down the cost of car cover. According to the Confused/Towers Watson Index, premiums have fallen an average £60 – or 7.1 per cent – in the past 12 months.

Average comprehensive car cover now stands at £797, compared to £858 a year ago.

But the gender gap between the cost for male and femal drivers still leaves men forced to fork out an average £110 a year more than women.

That will end in December when an EU equality directive will force insurance companies to stop offering cheaper deals to women.

Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at Confused, said that shifts in gender pricing are already beginning to show through, ahead of the new rules.

For example, for women aged 17-20, the cost of comprehensive cover increased by 0.5 per cent in the last three months. Meanwhile, prices for men in the same age group fell 1.1 per cent.

However, the gap between the two remains huge, with the average quote for woman aged 17-20 almost half that of men. Women are currently quoted £1,878 on average while men aged 17-20 are charged £3,596.

"Gender differences have to be factored out of quotations after December so other factors such as the type of car you drive and the distances you expect to cover will become more important in cutting costs," Mr Kloet said.

He predicted a move towards cheaper vehicles as drivers try to cut costs.

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