Direct insurers esure and First Alternative are to ask the government to ban the sale of 'fast car' magazines to under-21-year-olds, in the pursuit of road safety.

The insurers are concerned that magazines like Max Power and Fast Car, aimed at the youth market, might encourage unsafe driving.

Both magazines focus heavily on modifying standard cars

A spokesman for esure said: "It's disturbing that these magazines are promoting many of the things that are probably least advisable for this section of the driving population.

"Statistics show that young men are the most vulnerable to accidents and claims."

Max Power's editor Rog Payne said: "People who modify their cars drive a hell of a lot more safely than those who don't.

"The modifications can make them safer"

The editor of Fast Car declined to comment.