Motor insurance costs have reached record high, says trade body

The average cost of motor insurance has jumped by £30 over the past year to reach a new record high of £493, according to insurers.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI), which released the figures, said the average amount paid in the fourth quarter of 2017 for a private comprehensive insurance policy was the highest quarterly figure since it started collecting the data in 2012. It marked a 6% increase on the same quarter in 2016.

The average premium paid over the whole of 2017 was £481, it said.

This was 9% or £40 higher than the average across the previous year.

The ABI said the average cost of motor cover has leapt by 29% since 2014.

The trade body said insurance premium tax (IPT), which has been hiked several times in recent years, should now be frozen to help ease rising motor insurance costs.

Rob Cummings, the ABI's assistant director, head of motor and liability, said: "The rising cost of motor insurance shows no sign of abating.

"Changes to how compensation pay-outs are calculated, insurance premium tax, more whiplash-style claims and rising repair bills are all piling on the pressure for cash-strapped drivers."