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Average cost of UK car insurance nudges £1,000 - a 58% increase in 12 months

A leading insurance comparison site says the average driver must now cough up £995 for cover

Car insurance

The latest info from the Confused.com insurance price index reveals that UK drivers are now paying an average of £995 for cover, a whopping 58 per cent rise compared to 12 months ago.

Young drivers have been hit hardest, with 17-20 year olds facing increases that often surpass £1,000 per year, and 18 year olds typically now having to pay out more than £3,000 for their annual cover.

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The current prices are unsurprisingly the highest on record in the UK, but at least the rate of rises - which many drivers feel are extortionate - may be beginning to ease. The Confused.com index, which is based on more than 6 million insurance quotes per quarter, shows that prices rose by 18 percent in spring 2023, 19 percent in the summer, but ‘only’ 8 percent in the last three months of the year.

As well as differences for age groups, rises for quotes can vary by region, too. The average Northern Ireland premium is now £1,051, while a 64 percent rise for Central Scotland means premiums have doubled in two years to an average of £897.

Drivers in London are hit hardest, as usual though, with those in inner London facing £1,607 average premiums and outer-Londoners paying £1,291.

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According to Confused.com, the rises are down to inflationary pressures on the cost of claims for accident repairs and vehicle replacements, as insurers are forced to pay out more for garage repairs and spare parts, and more technically advanced cars cost more to replace.

“Like a lot of our expenses, car insurance is getting more costly. And this is likely to be the case for some time. Claiming is one of the biggest factors when it comes to insurers pricing up policies. And with the cost of paying out for claims being considerably high, insurance prices are going to be too,” says Louise Thomas, motoring expert at Confused.com.

There are, of course, things motorists can do to cut the cost of their insurance premiums. Shopping around is essential in the current market where renewal quotes from insurers can be very high. Remember that not all insurers are on the price comparison websites, too.

Beyond that, do what you can to improve your car security by fitting an approved alarm or parking in a safer place overnight. You can also reduce the number of miles you drive to lower your risk level and consider increasing the excess on your insurance policy to get the cost down. It’s vital that you are always accurate and truthful with the information you provide to your insurer though because you could end up invalidating your policy.  

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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