An investigation found dramatic differences in premiums across neighbourhoods

Hands giving motor car keys

A Norfolk councillor has urged the government to act on localised car insurance premiums after an investigation found some customers could be charged £600 more than those living just half a mile away.

The investigation, according to the Diss Mercury, used identical applicant details to seek quotes for a 2007 Ford Focus. One test in Great Yarmouth saw a premium quoted at £1,738, while just half a mile down the same road the price quoted was £1,098.

In Norwich, the price quoted for someone living on a suburban road was £1,042, but £990 for an adjacent road 50 yards away.

Great Yarmouth borough council former Labour leader Trevor Wainwright said: “It is scandalous that people should be penalised for where they choose to live. The problem is that the insurance companies know that if you want to drive, you have to have insurance, which is how they can get away with it.

“The government should at least look at this issue because it is hitting people in the pocket, many of whom can’t afford it.”

A spokesman for the Alliance of British Drivers said: “There’s something wrong with the sector and we feel that there’s now a proper case for a public debate for the parameters to be reassessed to get a fairer deal for drivers.”

Parliament debated the issue last week and politicians highlighted that fraudulent claims had led to innocent motorists having to pay high premiums.

ABI general insurance manager Rob Cummings said: “Insurers consider a large number of factors when setting insurance premiums. Changing address by only a street or two can make a significant difference because of factors such as the likelihood of someone making a personal injury claim, the levels of fraud or the levels of vehicle crime.”