Rates for 17 to 22 year-olds have shot up by 15.4% in the last three months, and 31.9% since October 2009

Young drivers’ premiums have rocketed 31.9% since October last year, against a market average of 23.8%, according to the AA.

In the last three months alone, comprehensive premiums for young drivers have shot up 15.4%, pushed up by Quinn Direct’s re-entry into the market on higher rates, and industry concerns over bodily injury claims and fraud.

The AA shoparound index shows that drivers in the 17 to 22 year-old age bracket face a 44.7% increase in one year, if rates continue to increase at the same pace.

Motor Insurers’ Bureau chief executive Ashton West said he feared the high premiums would lead to an increase in fraudulent applications, such as ‘fronting’, where parents were marked down as the primary driver but in fact the child was the main driver.

AA director of car insurance Simon Douglas said many young drivers might be tempted not to insure their cars at all, but warned: “You’re unlikely to get away with it. Number-plate recognition equipment on police cars and at the roadside quickly identifies uninsured vehicles, which can soon result in prosecution and the car being confiscated and crushed.”