The cost of annual vehicle cover has seen the first drop in three years as insurers have been able to cut prices after a Government clampdown on whiplash claims, a new study suggests.
According to the figures, the average premium price has dropped by 2% to £768 over the past year, with reforms regarding whiplash claims and changes to how compensation is paid being cited for the fall.
The average male driver between 17 and 20 pays on average £2,348 per year, compared to just £1,699 for women of the same age. This price drop means East London is now the most expensive location in the country for auto insurance, with motorists now paying on average £1360. The cheapest average insurance is paid by female drivers between 61 and 65, at £363. A higher number of motoring convictions and bigger, faster cars means men on average pay £95 more than women.
Gender differences - men on average pay £95 more than women - persist despite an European Union directive forbidding insurers to assess drivers on their sex.
Insurers are also expected to pay less for payouts when the "Ogden rate" comes under review in April 2019, the newspaper says.
The drop in premium costs could be attributed to insurance providers reacting to the Government's reforms on whiplash claims, The Guardian says.
Unveiling a new civil liability bill in March, the Minister of Justice said it would set a fixed amount of compensation for whiplash claims and require medical evidence before such claims can be settled. In September a year ago, the government backtracked after the insurers said the new formula would overcompensate crash victims.
That is according to research by Confused.com, which said the lower prices reflect an optimistic outlook for insurers following changes to the discount rate and a crackdown on whiplash claims. The sum is around £13 cheaper than the same period past year.
According to the Index, which is based on price data compiled from nearly six million customer quotes per quarter, the first three months of 2018 saw prices fall by 7% (£59), which is the largest quarterly reduction in premiums seen in four years.
In Scotland, premiums are also still increasing, with motorists in the Scottish Borders area suffering the largest increase (6%) since previous year.
'For example, men tend to drive more expensive cars with larger engines, on average, so they make higher-value claims.