Women drivers and the EU Gender Directive

Female motorists could always treat those 'women driver' remarks with the contempt they deserved, safe in the knowledge that they were statistically better drivers than men and were rewarded with cheaper car insurance for having fewer accidents and making fewer claims.

And even when women do make a claim, they are generally for a minor bumps rather than complete write-offs and so tend to be less expensive than those made by male drivers.

Furthermore, men account for a whopping 92% of all UK driving convictions and a staggering 98% of all convictions for dangerous driving, but this can no longer be taken into account by insurers since the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in March 2011 that it was illegal for them to take gender into account when calculating premium prices.

As a result, the ruling, known as the EU Gender Directive, has made it illegal for insurers to include any form of gender bias when calculating womens car insurance quotes - something that has seen female car insurance premiums increase by 30%.

Although gender is no longer part of the criteria, other factors such as age and occupation are still taken into account, as are no claims discounts (NCD) so you're still rewarded for being careful behind the wheel.

Age is still a concern

While gender has been taken out of the equation, age is still very much a consideration when it comes to calculating the cost of women's car insurance premiums, and it's the under-25s who generally pay the higher prices.

Car insurance for young drivers under the age of 25 are generally higher because they are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident and make a claim.

And it's not just the number of accidents that is higher, it's also the severity, as drivers under the age of 25 are involved in over 25% of all fatal crashes, despite accounting for just over 12% of the driving population.

And although it's male drivers under the age of 25 who are considered to be the highest risk category, because gender can no longer be taken into account, this means that all drivers under-25, including females, will be considered a higher risk.

However, in spite of the EU ruling, there are still a number of ways to cut the cost of car insurance quotes for women and any females under the age of 25 should visit our page dedicated to car insurance for young female drivers for some top tips.

Find cheap car insurance for women

Although car insurance for women has been traditionally cheaper; gender is just one of many factors that insurers consider when calculating premium prices. So let's take a look at what else insurers take into account and see how you can reduce the price of womens car insurance.

The type of car you drive has a massive impact on how much you pay for your car insurance and the general rule of thumb is that the bigger the engine, the higher the premium price.

However, other things such as the car's specification and any modifications are also considered, as is the cost of parts and repairs, which is one of the reasons why cars made by the more expensive manufacturers command higher policy prices, even if they have a relatively small engine.

Each car is placed into one of 50 insurance groups and this is then used to help calculate insurance costs. You can read more about this on our car insurance groups page, but the general rule is that the higher the grouping, the more pricy the policy.

The number of miles you cover each year also affects the price of your premium, so if you can keep your annual mileage to a minimum then this may bring the cost down.

The likelihood of losing your car to a thief is also an area which is looked at and this takes into account things like how desirable your car is to thieves, the area in which you live and the security devices you have fitted.

While it may not make sense to change either your car or your house to make a saving on your insurance, you could save money by simply parking it off the road overnight, preferably in a locked garage if possible, or by fitting insurer-approved security devices.

One of the best ways to make a dent in your policy price is to try and avoid making one in your car, as building up just one full year of no claims discount (NCD) can knock as much as a third off your renewal price.

And when it comes to renewals, make sure you shop around for the best deal and don't just accept the renewal offer made to you by your insurer.
Instead use MoneySupermarket's comparison tool, which enables you to instantly compare womens car insurance quotes from over 100 insurance companies across the UK and get the best deal possible.

When comparing car insurance for women drivers you need to remember that the cheapest quote may not always be the best value and the most important thing is to make sure that the level of cover matches your circumstances and meets your needs.

In some cases, it may even be worth paying a little extra to include additional features such as breakdown cover.

For more ideas on how save on car insurance for women drivers, visit our money saving tips page.

†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.