Prices had dropped from £847 to £752 in the preceding three quarters

Car insurance premiums have risen for the first time in 12 months.

The latest Car Insurance Price Index, in association with Willis Towers Watson (WTW), showed premiums increased by an average of 1% (£8) for Q3 2018.

This followed a significant price cuts in the previous three quarters. During this time average premiums fell from £847 to £752.

And WTW said the increase indicated the market was starting to stabilise.

Stephen Jones, UK head of P&C pricing, claims, product and underwriting at WTW, commented: “The significant reductions seen over the past year would have been difficult to sustain due to ongoing pressures on repair costs and the continued uncertainty surrounding both the timing and impact of the Civil Liability Bill and the anticipated adjustment to the Ogden rate.”

Demographic breakdown

  • Drivers in the South West of England saw the largest quarterly rise in prices at 3%, increasing their annual premiums to £566 on average, however they still benefit from the cheapest prices across the board

  • Drivers in Northern Ireland experienced the greatest quarterly drop with their insurance premiums falling on average by over 2% to £873

  • Drivers in Kirkwall experienced the greatest quarterly rise of 22% (£130), taking the average cost of premiums in the area to £712. Motorists in Kirkcaldy followed with a rise of 9% (£47), increasing premiums to £571

  • Despite benefiting from a fifth consecutive quarterly price drop, East London remains the most expensive location in the country for car insurance, with motorists paying on average £1,315

  • The cheapest place for motor insurance in the UK is also unchanged with drivers in Llandrindod Wells benefiting from a further 2% fall in prices and an average premium of £513 in the last three months

  • Male drivers aged between 17 and 20 are still paying the most of any demographic  ̶  £2,306 on averageThose that experienced the greatest quarterly rise were female drivers aged 71 and over, who saw a 4% price increase taking their annual premiums £424

Industry figures have previously claimed motor insurers had been too quick to slash their prices in anticipation of the Civil Liability Bill and Ogden Rate adjustment.

With the Bill still going through Parliament, and WTW warning Brexit could further delay its passage, insurers appear to be reigning in their optimism.

However, despite the increase, the £760 average premium is still £78 (9%) less than UK motorists were paying this time last year.

Jones added: “While this latest rise is minimal, the flattening of the recent dramatic fall in prices provides some comfort for insurers who have weathered an extremely competitive recent market.

“In addition, they face a number of uncertainties that are likely to trouble the market well into 2019, particularly concerning the risk that Brexit negotiations will impact the timing of changes to the Ogden discount rate.”

New highs

Steve Fletcher, head of data insight at, said: “Despite the decline in car insurance prices we have witnessed over the past year, it seems premiums are going up again and this time following a drop of just £100.

“The last time we saw a downward trend, premiums dropped by £279, but over a much longer period of three years.

“The data from this quarter suggests premiums are on the up and this time starting at a much higher base, which could mean the cost of car insurance could reach new highs.

“We expect this is due to drivers adopting vehicles with increasingly advanced technology, which makes for more expensive claims.

“It could also be a reflection of the uncertainty that surrounds the UK with Brexit on the horizon.”