Confused.com says car insurance premiums have gone up 6 per cent in the past three months alone – and the average cost of a year’s insurance is a whopping £115 more than it was just a year ago.
It means the price of the average annual comprehensive car insurance policy now stands at £715.
It contrasts starkly with the market of just a few years ago: in 2014, falling prices saw the average premium drop to less than £600.
Now though, warns confused.com, “these relatively good times appear to be over”: prices have been going up since 2015 – and “this trend looks unlikely to reverse any time soon”.
The car insurance price comparison firm adds that with rising fuel prices and a rise in insurance premium tax, it “could well signal the end of the road for cheaper driving for motorists”.
Confused.com motoring editor Amanda Stretton says “we’ve not seen price rises of this magnitude for five years. If prices continue to rise at the rate we’ve been seeing… (it) could result in a sizeable dent in drivers’ pockets”.
The regional picture is one of hefty increases: in Northern Ireland, car insurance premiums have risen 25%, and they’ve gone up 24% in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Alarmingly, premiums have rocketed 42% in the Scottish Hebrides.
London retains the top spot for the cost of car insurance though: Inner London motorists pay an eye-watering £1,164 a year on average for car insurance – £449 more than the UK average.
Older drivers have experienced steeper car insurance price rises than younger drivers in the past year: for 61 year olds, prices have gone up 24%, compared to 8% for 17 year olds. Youngsters shouldn’t count themselves too lucky though – they’re still paying an average of £2,013 a year, compared to £418 for a 61 year old. That’s a whopping £1,595 difference.
We do have some way to go before we see the car insurance price peak of £858 in autumn 2011, although the rate of increases are such that, unchecked, it may return sooner than any of us would like…