The cost of car insurance has risen across the UK, with warnings that the accelerating price rises could get even worse.
The average premium rose Â£14 (two per cent) in the final quarter of 2018, up to Â£774, according to analysis of six million quotes by Confused.com.
That follows a one per cent rise in the third quarter of the year and has prompted experts at the price comparison site to warn that there could well be worse to come for motorists amid continued economic uncertainty.
Louise Oâ€™Shea, CEO at Confused.com commented: â€œCar insurance prices are gathering momentum and have increased for the second quarter running â€“ and this quarter we have seen prices rise at a much faster pace. This is the last thing drivers need as they face the post-Christmas pinch and as the UK enters a period of economic uncertainty due to Brexit.â€
Winners and losers
The research found that despite a ruling banning assessing a driver based on their gender, men still pay an average of Â£98 more per year than women, although both genders suffered the same level of price rise.
Older drivers were hardest hit by the most recent rises, with those aged 68 paying eight per cent more (Â£41) and those aged 59 and 67 facing a seven per cent rise.
At the opposite end of the scale the price of insurance for 17-year-olds actually fell to its lowest level for 12 years. The average cost for motorists of this age dropped Â£98 (five per cent) in the last quarter but is still an eye-watering Â£1,855.
Loyalty doesnâ€™t pay
The study also confirmed that drivers are being penalised for sticking with the same insurer. A poll of Confused customers found that more than half (57 per cent) who renewed in the last quarter faced an increase of Â£48, compared to the average rise of Â£14.
Louise Oâ€™Shea added: â€œIf thereâ€™s a time to re-think and refresh your finances, itâ€™s now. A recent investigation by the CMA revealed customers who stick with the same supplier for household services are facing a combined â€˜loyalty penaltyâ€™ of Â£4.1 billion a year. And with an impending FCA investigation into â€˜hiddenâ€™ discrimination between car insurance customers on the horizon, the loyalty penalty issue appears to be wider than we first thought.â€