Recent figures published by Confused.com show that the typical comprehensive premium in the UK rose by 7% in the final three months of 2015.
The average driver now pays £672 a year for cover, up by £43 from the £629 they were being charged last September.
The research also shows a 13% increase in car insurance prices over the whole of last year.
At the end of 2014, the typical annual premium was just £594: it’s now £78 higher.
But is George Osborne’s Insurance Premium Tax really to blame? Analysts said the changes announced were likely to lead to an increase in motor premiums of around £20 so this only goes part of the way to explain the premium hikes recorded towards the end of 2015.
Steve Fletcher, head of data services at Confused.com, said:
“Last year gave motorists a tumultuous ride, hitting them with consistent price rises and an increase in Insurance Premium Tax, both of which would have considerably dented their pockets.
“We’re now in a position where average premiums are at the highest we’ve seen them since mid-2013.
“Unfortunately for motorists, we’ve now seen 11 consecutive months with no premium decreases, which would suggest that the trend is likely to continue,” he said.
“If this is to be the case, we would expect the average comprehensive cover premium to soon exceed the £858-a-year high we saw during 2011.”
Impacting on motor premiums is the £2bn of annual whiplash claims which continue to be made. Aviva recently said 80% of its UK motor claims were for whiplash and soft tissue injuries, while in France the comparable figure was 3%.
In a market of rising premiums, shopping around for the best deal at renewal time is essential. Use multiple price comparison websites like confused.com and moneysupermarket.com and make sure the level of cover on offer meets your needs as well as your budget.