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Revealed: the age groups hardest hit by rising car insurance costs

Motor insurance premiums are racing to record highs - but it's even worse if you're a young driver or over 65

The average UK driver pays around £641 for their car insurance – a record level since 2012 – and industry insiders expect premiums to only go up further this year, new analysis from Which? reveals.

In the first quarter of 2017, figures from the AA’s British Insurance Premium Index showed that younger drivers (aged 17 to 22) were paying the highest premiums – a hair raising £1,477 on average – assuming that they were choosing from the cheapest quotes available to them.

Since the end of 2010, however drivers aged over 60 have been seeing the biggest rises in car insurance costs proportionally. Average premiums for those aged 60-69 have gone up by a third (31%) from £297 to £389. Meanwhile, for those over 70, the rise has been almost half – from £363 to £541 – or 49%.

Generally, young and older drivers are charged more than those in the middle as they’re perceived by insurers to be at a greater risk of making a costly claim.

Big differences between insurers

To see how different companies load prices for age, Which? obtained illustrative quotes from twelve insurers. In line with industry average trends, once our drivers passed retirement age (65), prices uniformly crept up the older they were.

However, within the scenarios we used, the sizes of those increases varied drastically between insurers – demonstrating how vital it is to regularly shop around for quotes when your age is working against you.

For example, with one of our fictitious drivers – who lived in Guisborough (North East England) and drove a Ford Focus – the difference in premiums between a 65-year-old and an 80-year-old ranged from £164 (with Aviva) to £528 (Saga).

Get high-quality car insurance

We surveyed 6,244 car insurance customers to find out what they thought of their insurer. We then analysed, in detail, the standard policies of 31 insurance companies.

Our Which? Recommended Provider assessment shows which insurers are revered by their customers and also, crucially, won’t let you down on cover.

Currently, three providers make the grade. You read about them here, as well as seeing how the other 28 insurers fare in our tests.

Which? members can log in to read the latest results, or you can take a one-month trial to Which? for just £1 to read out our in-depth car insurance reviews.

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