Car insurance companies have put the brakes on the cost of cover for drivers, according to the latest price review.
After two years of spiralling price increases, the yearly rise in car insurance premiums for the quarter ending June 30 was 3.6% – the lowest rise for 18 months.
Although prices rises are slowing down, the annual increase was still almost a third, just tipping 30.1%.
The cost of insurance fell for drivers under 22 years old by 5.6%, says the AA, who compile statistics about the price of car insurance quarterly. The figures measure the average cost of a policy for motorists of all ages.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: “The easing of insurance prices is welcome news, especially for young drivers whose premiums have become unaffordable for many.
“I predicted last year that during 2011 we would see competitive pressure returning to the market which would help to reduce the rate of increase.
“This is the smallest increase we have seen for some time, and I believe that over the rest of this year we will at last see premiums level off, despite the gloomier predictions of other market commentators.”
Meanwhile, the government is considering advanced training courses to improve driving skills that could lead to a 25% discount on car insurance for drivers who pass with top marks.
For many young drivers, this could amount to a saving of around £500 on average premiums of £2,000 a year.
Car insurance is just one of the soaring costs of keeping a car on the road. Fuel prices are continuing to go up at the pumps, while Zurich Insurance has calculated drivers spend £1,776 a year on servicing and other running costs.
The insurer claims a fifth of drivers delay renewing insurance and servicing due to the expense.
Mark Searles, chief marketing officer at Zurich Insurance, said: “The cost of motoring has risen dramatically over the past few years, putting drivers under increasing financial pressure.
“The most worrying findings from our research are those that show some drivers are risking their own and others’ safety in a bid to save money. We need to change those attitudes and remember that it is a legal requirement to have both a valid MOT and insurance.”