Northern Ireland news

Car insurance accelerates to record levels

In the past 12 months, drivers have been forced to fork out an extra £62 on average for their car insurance

CAR insurance costs are to accelerate record levels this year, with Northern Ireland second only to Inner London in premiums.

The average cost of car insurance now tops £1,000 - more than £100 more than the UK average, which is set to hit a record £900 by the end of the year.

In the past 12 months, drivers have been forced to fork out an extra £62 on average for their car insurance.

This seven per cent increase, contained in renewal notices landing on doormats across the north, means the average price to insure a car has been driven up to £1,006.

The figure has been released today through the Willis Towers Watson car insurance price index, - the most comprehensive in the UK based on more than six million quotes a quarter.

Drivers in Inner London are facing the most expensive premiums, having to pay £1,283 on average.

However, drivers in Northern Ireland, Manchester and Merseyside, Outer London and the West Midlands are all paying more than £1,000.

Young drivers are being hit with premiums of £1,960.

Meanwhile, according to a corresponding fuel index, which collates prices from 83 per cent of fuel stations, drivers are now paying, on average, 121.4p for petrol and 124.2p for diesel.

The average driver of a medium-sized car is now paying £69.18 for a full tank of petrol and £70.77 to fill up with diesel, with further taxes are due to be imposed on diesel drivers this year.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at said drivers can find out the latest average premium for their age and region using its car insurance calculator.

The tool allows users to input their region, age and gender to find out the average cost of premiums for their demographic, compared to 12 months ago.

"Drivers in Northern Ireland are continuing to see their car insurance premiums shoot up, and unfortunately this is likely to continue throughout the rest of the year," she said.

"The good news is that insurers now have to show drivers what they paid for car insurance last year, making it been easier for them to compare against their renewal price.

"January is always a difficult month after the excess of Christmas and that is true for drivers' wallets too.

"Take a few minutes to check your letter and get a new price."

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