Women pay the price for EU gender directive

The Momentum UK Team 21 January 2013

Car insurance premiums for young women have risen 50% since the introduction of the EU Gender Directive last month which means that insurance companies are no longer allowed to offer premiums based on sex.

Young women have seen the most significant increase in premiums insurers bring male and female rates into line with eachother. Based on quotes given to over 20,000 drivers before and after EU ruling, the data shows that women aged 17-18 have experienced the largest hike in prices, taking their average annual payment from £1,307 to £1,965.

Men on the other hand have had a slight drop in their premiums. From the same 17-18 age group mens prices fell 5% going from £2,298,to £2,191.

The figures from uSwitch reveal that the average female car insurance premium across all age groups has risen by 8%. This is significantly less than the 25% average initially predicted prior to the ruling, but still way off the 50% increase experienced by the youngest female drivers.

Although the ruling from the EU has closed the gap on gender specific pricing, men on average, still pay more. Across all the age groups women pay £529 with an 8% increase, whereas men pay £619 down 6%.

Michael Ossei, from uSwitch says:

"A 50% rise in premiums could have a devastating effect on newly qualified women trying to get on the road.

“But there's not quite cause for young men to jump up and down in celebration. Despite the shock hike in female premiums, 17 and 18 year old men still pay the most for their car insurance. It's our hope that the relentlessly high premiums do not discourage young people from learning to drive.

“The gender gap may be narrowing but it's as important as ever to shop around to find the best deal at renewal time - with over one hundred providers on the market, there is a big difference between the cheapest and the most expensive quote. A little bit of research will go a long way towards limiting the financial impact of this judgement and not letting cost force drivers off the road."