'Dramatic increase' in motor insurance premiums

Drivers are paying record amounts for their car insurance, with average premiums up 11% in the last year, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said.

The average price paid for comprehensive motor insurance rose to £484 for the second quarter of 2017 - up £48 from the same period last year, figures show.

There was also a 4.8% increase (£22) on the first quarter of this year, when average premiums were £462, according to the ABI Motor Premium Tracker's most recent figures.

The ABI said the increase is the biggest year-on-year rise since it started tracking premiums in 2012, while month-by-month figures show average premiums rising to £498 in June.

The spike follows a decision announced by the Government in February to cut the personal injury discount rate, as well as increases to insurance premium tax (IPT), the ABI said.

The rate helps to set compensation payouts when people suffer serious injuries, for example following a car crash.

When victims of life-changing injuries accept lump sum compensation, the rate is applied when calculating the payout, to take into account the potential returns they could expect to receive from their money over time from investing the cash.

ABI director general Huw Evans said the "dramatic increase" shows the Government should press ahead with a new framework for the discount rate and call a stop to further IPT hikes.

"The UK is one of the most competitive motor insurance markets in the world, but the unprecedented increase in claims costs is driving up prices to record levels," he said.

"Most younger and older drivers are likely to face increases even higher than this, hurting people who can least afford it.

"Worryingly these increases are unlikely to be the end of the road if reinsurance premiums go up at the end of the year, adding further costs to insurers."

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "We have consulted on whether there is a better or fairer framework for claimants and defendants in cases of serious personal injury. We will respond to the consultation in due course."

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The cheapest cars to insure
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The cheapest cars to insure

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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