For decades it was taken for granted women paid less for their car insurance than men did. This was for several reasons:
women had fewer accidents so made fewer claims
claims that were made were for lower impact collisions, resulting in less damage so repair costs were lower
the cars driven were often low-cost models with cheap parts and fast repair times, reducing claims costs
fewer women had prestige cars and insisted on more expensive specialist repairers or parts
fewer women objected to insurers choosing the repairer or setting write-off values
However, a ruling made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made it illegal for insurance companies to take gender into account when calculating the cost of insurance (a man successfully challenged that women should not get cheaper insurance than him).
the law came into place on 21 December 2012
it made it illegal for insurers to use gender as a criteria when pricing insurance
But car insurance premiums did not rise dramatically for many female drivers (and they certainly did not drop for men). This was because the other criteria insurance companies use may meant many men still pay more for insurance.
the type of car you drive
your no claims bonus
where you keep your car parked overnight
how many miles a year you drive
Some insurance experts believe that men do still tend to pay more for insurance because they are in professions where more driving is required, or tend to do more driving when not at work.
Because of this they are still more risky and will pay more for car insurance – reflecting that risk.
In early 2020 research showed that of nearly 15 million car insurance enquiries by men pay £581 on average for their premiums, compared to women who pay £460.
Several insurance brands are aimed mainly at women. Their names, such as Sheilas’ Wheels, Go Girl and Diamond, and the special offers they include, such as ‘handbag cover’, are meant to deter men from applying.
Women and men who are experienced drivers and have a good driving record can still get a good deal on their insurance.
Drivers under 25, women and men, pay far more than drivers 25 and over.
If you are not an experienced driver you can cut car insurance costs by adding a named driver who is older and more experienced to the policy.
Another factor is the type of car you drive, with the car’s speed, security features, and value all playing a big part – read our guide to the cheapest cars to insure to find out which cars attract the cheapest insurance premiums.
Opting for a bigger voluntary excess may result in a cheaper monthly premium. Before you take out car insurance make sure you can afford any voluntary excess.
This excess is in addition to the compulsory excess set by your insurance provider. This is what you will have to pay if you ever have to claim. However, you can also insure your excess, so that if your claim exceeded your excess it too would be paid.
Pay for your insurance in one go if you can. Spreading the cost of your car insurance over 12 payments, monthly, may seem cheaper but remember you will be paying interest on top of the amount you pay towards your car insurance premium.
Limiting your miles makes you less of an insurance risk. Simply because you are reducing your risk of having an accident. When you take out your car insurance policy the insurer always asks for an estimate of your maximum annual mileage. You need to try and you’re your mileage low, although you need to be realistic as to how much you will drive.
Having an alarm or immobiliser is considered a theft deterrent and by deterring car thieves you can reduce your car insurance. Not all insurers will offer this, so check first.
Some insurers will offer a discount for drivers who have completed an advanced driving course. There are several recognised providers such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Black box, or telematics, insurance can help reduce your car insurance over a period of time.
It’s considered a good idea for women because they are involved in fewer accidents than men and tend to make fewer car insurance claims than men do.
A small device, the black box is installed in your car.
this then measures how fast you driver, when you brake, what time of day you drive how fast you accelerate and how you drive around corners
some black boxes include an app which you can access on your phone
if you drive safely you may be rewarded with cheaper monthly premiums
Shopping around, aim for a month before your car insurance renewal comes up could also save you money. It may be your current car insurance is the cheapest available but because pricing changes it’s always best to stay vigilant.
This might sound like a drastic alternative but if you don’t need always need access to a car it maybe you can borrow a friend’s or family member’s car. Many insurers offer short term and temporary car insurance which, in some cases can be taken out for just a day.
Compare quotes for short-term or temporary car insurance
If your driveway is heaving with cars it may make more sense to try and include all those cars on one policy. You can take out a single policy. Some insurers don’t offer a single multi car policy but will offer subsequent discounts for any other cars taken out by the same policyholder.
Reduce your insurance costs with a multi-car insurance policy.
if you own more than one car
if you’re a family with more than one driver
if you’re a couple with more than one vehicle