Car insurance premiums fall across the board in 2013
The average cost of fully comprehensive car insurance was £644 in the last three months of 2013, down 12.5% annually and 25% compared to the all-time high of £858 in the second quarter of 2011.
Meanwhile, third party, fire and theft premiums fell 7.5% to £1,053 in the last quarter of 2013 compared to the same period 12 months earlier, according to the Confused.com car insurance price index.
Its research found that all age groups have seen a reduction in their insurance quotes over the past year.
And a year on from the introduction of the EU Gender Directive - which stopped insurers from using gender as a factor when pricing insurance – it seems the move has been "good news for the majority of drivers", Confused.com said.
Young men have benefited most in terms of comprehensive insurance policies, with 17 to 20 year olds seeing their premiums fall by 23% over the course of 2013.
While it was feared that young women would see premiums rise to offset young men's price reductions, Confused.com said they too have benefited from "a generally soft market in 2013".
It pointed out that 21 to 25-year-old women actually saw the biggest year-on-year falls (-14%), meaning their average insurance premiums stood at £936 by the end of 2013.
Ian Crowder from the AA, which releases its own car insurance price index next week, said: "While young women were most likely to be significantly affected by the introduction of the EU Gender Directive, they have actually seen very little change as premiums fell sharply across the board in 2013."
Men of all ages paid £671 on average for their comprehensive premiums in the last quarter of 2013, down 12% year-on year, but a small increase of 0.9% compared to the previous quarter.
They are still paying more than women, whose comprehensive premiums stood at £610 on average in the last three months of 2013, a decrease of 13.6% over the year.
Confused.com also reported that premiums in the Central Scotland, East and North East Scotland and Manchester/Merseyside regions saw the biggest price reductions in 2013 (ranging from falls of 16.6% to 13.5%).
While Ian Crowder at the AA believes car insurance premiums will continue to fall over the next few months (albeit "at a lesser rate") Gemma Stanbury, head of car insurance at Confused.com, warned: "These falling prices are welcome news for motorists; however the latest car insurance price index highlights that price rises could be on the horizon with some males already experiencing price hikes in the last quarter."