Car insurance prices continue to fall in 2019
Updated October 2019
Car insurance premiums fell slightly in the third quarter of 2019, according to the latest data from MoneySuperMarket.
Our analysis of quotes shows that between July and September this year, the average comprehensive car insurance price was £459; £24 (or 5%) less than the same period in 2018 (£483). It is the first time since 2015 where the average price of a policy has been under £480 for three successive quarters. Premiums also fell by 2.75% in Q3 compared to the previous quarter.
The cost of car insurance has fallen in part because of the growing availability and uptake of black box or telematics insurance. This allows drivers to demonstrate their driving behaviour to their insurer. Because it encourages safer driving, it has helped keep a lid on premiums – in particular for younger motorists [see below].
Improved safety on the roads, driven by technology, and well as a decline in the number of new cars being purchased – which typically command higher premiums – may also be helping suppress premium inflation.
However, motorists may not be able to breathe easy for long, as there are signs prices are starting to move upwards again. Already, for third party (+7%) and third party, fire & theft (+6%) policies, premiums have increased year on year.
This can be attributed to some uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which weakened the pound in July, increasing claims costs for imported replacement parts for vehicles. A more significant and sustained trend, however, is that cars are becoming increasingly expensive to repair, inflating the size of the average claim and squeezing insurers’ margins.
Until recently, falling premiums have been driven by the government changing its calculations for personal injury compensation payments. In March 2017, insurers were initially forced to increase their prices to help fund larger pay-outs to victims. In September the same year, the government announced it was reviewing this decision – but in July 2019, the expected revision was significantly less than insurers had hoped, which has led to some pricing instability over the summer months.
Average premiums by region
Where you live can also affect how much you pay for your car insurance. The greater the population, the more cars are on the road and the greater the likelihood of accidents. Bigger towns and cities also tend to have higher crime rates, contributing to higher insurance costs.
Those living in East London had the most expensive premiums in Q3 2019 (£914). London as a whole had an average premium of £655, compared to £357 in Scotland. The Isle of Man (£265) had the cheapest premiums. Premiums rose most sharply for drivers in London’s West End, rising 28% compared to the same period in 2018 to an average of £1,071. The biggest fall was in Llandrindod Wells, where premiums plummeted by 32% to £428.
Tap a region to find out more:
How age & gender affect car insurance costs
While younger drivers pay the most for their insurance, they also have the furthest room to fall. And premiums have declined almost 4% over the past year for the 17-19 age bracket, to an average of £991 for a fully comprehensive policy. In fact, average premiums for all age groups under the age of 30 fell in the third quarter of 2019 – and increased for all those over 30.
Yet prices are still over three times more expensive for younger drivers than for older motorists. Those aged 65 and over saw premiums rise the most compared to 2018 (5.7%), yet they still came in at an average of just £276.
Differences between car insurance costs for women and men are also still apparent, despite insurers no longer being legally allowed to take gender into account when setting premiums, thanks to the European Court of Justice’s Gender Directive.
In Q3 2019, women paid an average of £412 for a fully comprehensive insurance policy (down 4% from Q3 2018), while men paid an average of £503 (down 5%).
Women tend to drive less expensive cars with lower performance capabilities, both of which help to lower premiums. What’s more, if women are making fewer claims, they qualify for larger no-claims discounts, helping to bring prices down.
Whatever the trend, it’s always best to shop around when your car insurance comes up for renewal. A little research could result in an average annual saving of up to £250*, so it’s worth running a new quote.
All premium price data is based on the median cheapest on-screen price for the given period that customers see when running a quote. Premiums are based on MoneySuperMarket customers only and are not representative of the UK average.
From October (Q4) 2018 onwards the on screen price also includes add-ons in line with the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD).
*51% of consumers could save up to £250.11. Consumer Intelligence, August 2019
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Source information (MSM car insurance quotes, last 6 years, updated on a quarterly basis)
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