Fuel price cuts may have a negative effect

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Fuel prices may be falling, but according to one major insurer, those price falls may actually mean you pay out even more for your car insurance.

This week Morrisons cut its diesel prices by 4p per litre, which followed cuts from the nation's other major supermarkets at the weekend. According to the RAC, the average cost of a litre of diesel is on course to drop to 111p, the lowest level since 2010, while average petrol prices have also fallen.

However, falling fuel prices may not be such good news for motorists after all. Here's why.

Fuel cuts mean that we drive more

Esure, which owns Sheilas Wheels, announced a drop in its profits this week. One of the things it has blamed is the increase in small personal injury claims it has seen.

And according to the insurer, that increase is down to cheaper fuel prices. It said that, as fuel prices fall, people are encouraged to drive more. And as more cars hit the roads for longer periods, there is then an increase in accidents.

Stuart Vann, chief executive of Esure, said: "The claims environment in the motor market continues to deteriorate and as a consequence we will seek to implement further rate increases in the second half of the year as we look to mitigate against these trends."

In other words, thanks to fuel price cuts and the subsequent increase in accidents and claims, car insurance premiums will have to go up.

What else is affecting car insurance premiums?

Back in July the AA warned that the "days of cheap car insurance premiums are over" with price rises inevitable.

Its British Insurance Premium Index found that car insurance premiums have risen by 5.5% over the last 12 months, and also pointed the finger at rising claims costs.

What's more, with the hike in Insurance Premium Tax announced in the Summer Budget, future rises will be more considerable. The AA calculated that around £18 will be added to the cost of a typical car insurance policy as a result of what it called a "stealth tax grab".

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Fuel price cuts may have a negative effect

Price new: £5,995

Dacia has made a big impact in the UK with its line of affordable motors.
The Sandero is the foundation of the brand's offering and is famed for being the UK's cheapest car.

With a group two insurance classification it's also one of the cheapest cars to insure right now.
The entry level Access model is sparsely equipped, but it has a practical interior, big boot and low running costs.

Price new: £8,060

The Seat Mii is a small city car which Auto Express praises for its spacious interior, good build quality and supple ride.

All models are in insurance group one, bar the group two Sport version.
The Mii is available in three-door or five-door styles, but both measure just 3.5 metres, making it perfect for getting around town.

Price new: £8,090

The Skoda Citigo was crowned Auto Express Best City Car 2013.

The magazine praised its low running costs and practicality as well as its grown up driving experience.
Like its Mii stable mate the Citigo has group one insurance in all apart from its top specification model, making it one of the cheapest cars to insure.

Price new: £8,265

The third of the Volkswagen's group of three city cars to make the list is the Up!

Auto Express says the Up! was 'born to rule' city streets with its small dimensions and lightweight body.
There's three versions of this fun city car; Take Up! has a group one rating as does Move Up! while the higher spec High Up! gets a group two classification.

Price new: £8,345

The Hyundai i10 is another car which can get you a cheap insurance quote thanks to a group one insurance rating across all the 1.0-litre petrol models.

Auto Express says the new 2014 i10 offers big car features in a small package. And for £8,345 you also get Hyundai's five-year warranty and roadside assistance package.

Price new: £8,995

Vauxhall has managed to squeeze one of its full sized Corsas into insurance group two.
Auto Express says the 1.0-litre ecoFlex model has the lowest insurance costs of any mainstream supermini.

The eye-catching design, solid interior and big-car features make it an appealing buy for drivers.

Price new: £9,575

The Smart car caused a bit of a stir when it first appeared thanks to its dinky dimensions and bold two-seat layout, making it very useful for driving about town and absurdly easy to park.

The Smart ForTwo is the latest incarnation, which keeps to the same formula; it still has only two seats and is one of the smallest cars on the road measuring just 2.5 metres long,
The entry level 0.8- and 1.0-litre models qualify for group two insurance.

Price new: £11,810

The Peugeot Partner Tepee 1.6 VTi is the passenger version of the Partner van and according to Auto Express easily the most spacious new car that currently qualifies for a group two insurance rating.

It's got a boxy shape that provides plenty of room and has sliding doors which make it a very practical and flexible family car.

If you're after something smaller the Peugeot Bipper Tepee, which is the smallest of Peugeot's family of Tepee MPVs, also gets a group two insurance rating.


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