Car insurance premiums plummet by a fifth
Good news for drivers has emerged as motoring organisation The AA says motor insurance premiums fell by 19.3% in the year to end of June 2014.
The AA says the average quoted premium plummeted by more than £120 to £504.29 in the last year - the largest annual fall ever recorded by its British Insurance Premium Index.
While drivers aged 17-22 still pay the largest premiums – at an average £1,096.45 a year - insurance for those aged 60 to 69 is now just £291.56 a year.
Regionally, drivers in Scotland pay the least for their insurance – at £363.54 – followed by the West & West Country (£401.92), the South (£427.75), Anglia (£463.52) and Wales (£467.17).
The 'last hurrah'
But according to Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, the era of low insurance premiums may be coming to an end: "This could be the 'last hurrah' for cheaper car premiums. These falls are now becoming unsustainable as insurers are digging into reserves to maintain their competitive edge. Some insurers are starting to resist pressure to cut premiums."
"Many insurers are starting to increase their prices and I expect the sharp competition, particularly on price comparison sites, will soon evaporate. I think that the downward cycle of premiums is bottoming out."
Douglas added that government reforms to curb fraudulent insurance claims (mainly relating to whiplash) have failed to bring down the number of such claims.
"Although the number of injury claim lawyers cold-calling potential claimants has sharply fallen thanks to the reforms, the number of claims remains stubbornly high.
"While there have been modest savings in legal fees, it remains the case that too many people are still prepared to make some money from insurance companies either by deliberately causing crashes or exaggerating whiplash injury for even very minor collisions."
Fraud adds around £60 a year to every car insurance policy, according to industry estimates.