Business

Young drivers in Northern Ireland are insurance premium winners says Confused.com study

COST: Research by price comparison website Confused.com has shown that on average, car insurance in the north has increased 14 per cent in the last decade
Andrew Madden

CAR insurance prices in Northern Ireland are rising at the lowest levels anywhere in the UK.

Research by price comparison website Confused.com has shown that on average, UK car insurance prices have accelerated by 52 per cent in the last 10 years, but the increase in the north is a more manageable 14 per cent.

In average premium, that equates to just £118 in Northern Ireland, while the rest of the UK is racking up fees of around £767.

Historically, car insurance prices in Northern Ireland have been disproportionally higher than elsewhere in the UK due to risks associated with the troubles.

During the period of civil unrest, car and vehicle insurance was affected significantly as many cars were damaged, vandalised, stolen or used in illegal activities.

Another issue that caused the higher price of insurance Northern Ireland in comparison to mainland insurers in England, Scotland and Wales is the disproportionally high number of road accidents here.

Confused.com's data shows that young male drivers aged between 17 and 20 living in Northern Ireland can be credited as ‘winners' of the last 10 years, after having seen an impressive 24 per cent drop in their premiums, equivalent to a huge decrease of £775.

Female drivers of the same age within this region have also seen a drop of 12 per cent equivalent to £260.

Caroline Currie, sales director with Newry-based Autoline Insurance, said the their experience prices have generally fallen in the north over the past decade.

"In Great Britain prices have fluctuated significantly, but locally they have been stable, largely because there is less fraud here. The existence of larger inner-city areas across the water also creates higher pricing," she said.

"The good news for consumers is that new technology, including telematics products such as Autoline's ChilliDrive smart phone app, is enabling premiums to be priced according to individual driving behaviour."

In the UK as a whole, 17-year-olds had the most expensive premiums on average over the past decade while 66-year-olds had the cheapest.

The cost of car insurance has risen more over the last decade than beer (7 per cent) and new cars (15 per cent), but less than rail transport (54 per cent) and new potatoes (86 per cent).

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