Drivers face 20% car insurance hike

Car insurance premiums have risen by almost 20% in the past year, according to independent research .

The cost of car insurance have risen across every main driving group in the past 12 months, with young drivers hit with the biggest price hike of nearly 25% to £1,489 for the average 17-24 year old, according to market research firm Consumer Intelligence.

Male drivers again fared worse than their female counterparts, but only slightly, with both groups paying around 20% more for their premiums than a year earlier.

Insurance trends across all groups were as expected, with young drivers continuing to be hit the hardest while middle-aged drivers, those aged 55-64, still paid the least, with the average premium now costing this group £376 a year.

Consumer Intelligence managing director Ian Hughes said: "The advent of price comparison websites had actually kept a lid on car insurance premiums for some time, but these figures show the upward pressure on pricing has well and truly broken through.

"The worry, obviously, is that this could result in more motorists simply choosing not to insure their vehicles and drive illegally, or feel that they can no longer afford to run a car."

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