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Bishop's Stortford, Stansted and Sawbridgeworth drivers hit by 59% annual hike in car insurance

Motorists in Bishop's Stortford, Stansted and Sawbridgeworth are among the hardest hit by car insurance hikes in the Eastern region.

According to financial services comparison website Confused.com, in the CM (Chelmsford) postcode area, the average annual premium for drivers is now £863 – a 59% year-on-year increase of £321.

In the last three months alone, bills have risen by £147 – up 20%.

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Only Southend, in the East of England region, has bigger car insurance premiums. Bills have risen 58% year on year to £906.

The latest data by Confused.com confirms car insurance prices in the East are at the highest recorded, with drivers now paying on average £769. That is a 56% increase of £277 compared to this time last year. The average cost has increased 18% by £119 in the past three months.

The cheapest East of England area for drivers is Lincoln. Although prices did increase 50% by £223 in 12 months, the average is £664.

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Inner London prices are the steepest, with the cost of car insurance now £1,503, on average, up £567 (61%) in a year.

Drivers in Manchester and Merseyside are seeing annual increases of around £417 (57%) and an average price of £1,154. In the West Midlands, the cost of car insurance is £1,139, on average, following a £442 (63%) increase.

Confused.com's figures are based on more than six million quotes and show how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the insurance industry.

Electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow in popularity, but they are expensive and often come with enhanced technology features as standard, so they cost more to repair or replace.

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Second-hand vehicles are holding their value for longer since the pandemic – so if a driver has an accident and their vehicle is a write-off, this now costs insurers more to pay out.

More drivers are back on the roads since the end of the coronavirus crisis, increasing the frequency of accidents, and all these factors increase the overall risk for insurers.

Younger drivers are bearing the brunt of the rises with average premiums of £2,995 – up 89% (£1,414) in the past year and by 25% (£591) in the last three months, on average.

Data also shows that drivers aged 38 and under are not paying less than £1,000, on average.

And although insurers cannot price by sex, males have the most expensive premiums. Costs are now, on average, £987, following an annual increase of £359 (57%). For women, prices have risen by £304 (59%) to an average of £820.

Men tend to drive more expensive cars with larger engines, loaded with new technology, which makes for higher-value claims. They also tend to have significantly more motoring convictions than women.

Louise Thomas, motor expert at Confused.com car insurance, said: "For another consecutive quarter, we’ve seen some of the highest inflation rates when it comes to car insurance.

“With prices up on average £148 (19%) in just three months and £338 (58%) in 12 months, drivers are likely to be paying more than ever. So those who haven’t yet been affected should be wary of how pricing may affect them at their next renewal.

“But there are deals around and drivers can still save money, even if they’ve noticed their renewal has gone up. And in a time of financial uncertainty, this can be really helpful if you’re needing to watch your money more closely than before.

“So if you’re due to renew, consider ways in which you can keep costs down. Whether it’s reducing your mileage or improving your car security, these can certainly help. But remember to always be truthful to your insurer, otherwise you risk invalidating your policy."

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