Motor insurance costs highest on record, report finds

The average price paid in the fourth quarter of 2016 for private comprehensive cover was £462

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Motor insurance premiums have hit their highest levels on record as tax hikes and whiplash claims drive prices up, according to a report.

The average price paid in the fourth quarter of 2016 for private comprehensive cover was £462, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said.

The figure is the highest recorded by the ABI's Motor Premium Tracker, which has been running since 2012. The previous peak was in the second quarter of 2012 when the average was £443.

The tracker looks at what people pay for their cover, rather than quotes.

Across 2016, premiums were around 9.3% higher than the average in 2015, the ABI said.

Rob Cummings, the ABI's assistant director, head of motor and liability, said: "These continue to be tough times for honest motorists.

"They are bearing the brunt of a cocktail of rising costs associated with increasing whiplash-style claims, rising repair bills and a higher rate of insurance premium tax."