Motor rates continued to slide in the first weeks of 2005, according to the latest research from Consumer Intelligence.

Online price changes ranged from -5.66% (Kwik-Fit) to +0.57% (Direct Line), as market prices dropped by an average of 2.35% from December 2004 to January 2005.

Consumer Intelligence managing director Ian Hughes said: "Our survey shows that prices continue to soften online, with 12 of the 14 companies surveyed reducing their prices over the two months. Overall we saw a 2.35% decrease in price in that time."

The survey also showed considerable price differentiation by region. London showed the biggest decrease in premium, dropping 3.24% compared to a fall of just 1.43% in the South West.

Hughes said: "Variations between regions have been great. In Wales, Tesco reduced prices by 4.13%, but Admiral increased theirs by 1.24%."

The survey reinforces market perception that motor rates are continuing to soften.