Average car insurance costs for young male drivers have broken through the £4,000 barrier, while women of the same age group can expect to pay just over half that amount – for now.
The cost of keeping a car on the road has risen dramatically in recent years, thanks to rising insurance costs and record-breaking petrol prices.
Now new research by price comparison site Confused.com and services firm Towers Watson has found that young male drivers face massive insurance premiums at an average cost of over £4,000 per year.
According to the research, male drivers between the ages of 17 and 20 can now expect to pay an average price of £4,006 for a year’s comprehensive car insurance. Meanwhile, their female counterparts in the same age bracket can expect to pay just £2,151.
Insurers, however, claim that the premiums are justified as young men are indeed higher risk drivers who are more likely to be involved in accidents – but new legislation will make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate based on gender from the end of 2012.
This is likely to mean lower premiums for men, but higher premiums for women.
A spokesperson for Confused.com commented: “In order to afford a £4,000-a-year premium and cover the cost of running a car, the average single male [within the 17 to 20 age group] would need to spend £6,500 a year – almost half of the average salary of full-time employees at this age.”
For this reason, experts have cautioned that rising cost of insurance will tempt some to risk driving without insurance rather than giving up their cars.
The average overall cost of comprehensive cover in the UK is now £858 – £22 more than just three months ago and £170 more than a year ago.
Moneyhighstreet comments: “This is bad news for new drivers – and with rising driving lesson fees, even fewer will be able to afford getting on the road.
“One way to reduce your premiums is to wait a few years before learning to drive. While premiums for first-time drivers of any age are high, they will be lower than the excruciating £4,000 mark.
“On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to get married, naming a spouse as a driver on your policy can reduce premiums by as much as £1,000 per year.
“Most importantly, you should compare car insurance online and check policies on offer by providers like AA Insurance. And don’t forget to compare prices again when it is time to renew your policy – you may find new deals that give you better value.”