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Car Insurance Costs 'May Rise'
By Abbi
Motorists could be set to see the financial pressures that having a vehicle entails increasing over the coming months, it has been suggested.

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Motorists could be set to see the financial pressures that having a vehicle entails increasing over the coming months, it has been suggested.

The news comes as research carried out by Experian reveals that the impact of the floods seen over the course of this summer has had little effect on car insurance costs within the direct sector. During the third quarter of this year, from July to September, the typical quote for a comprehensive cover policy in the market stood at some 567 pounds 30p - a rise of 0.8 per cent from the 562 pounds 70p recorded during the previous three-month period.

Meanwhile, those opting for insurance from the broker sector may be set for a particular increase in financial difficulties, which as a result may see them struggling to make payments on loans, overdrafts and other forms of borrowing.

In June, comprehensive premiums stood at 495 pounds before rising to 538 pounds a month later. Meanwhile, third party, fire and theft cover surged from 570 pounds to 632 pounds during this period. Both types of insurance are said to have risen over the rest of the summer. And with the average quote for a third party, fire and theft policy within the broker market now standing at 639 pounds 70p, it is the highest figure noted since July 2005 - the time at which the firm began gathering such information.

However, it was suggested that as a result of the flooding witnessed earlier this year, the cost of car insurance could be set to rise further. This in turn may affect consumers' ability to handle the various running costs attached to a vehicle such as repairs and tax, in addition to managing other areas of their spending such as paying utility bills and personal loans.

David Murby, managing director for Experian's insurance service division, said: "For nearly two years, comprehensive motor insurance premiums in the direct market have been higher than in the broker market". However, the recent increase in broker prices means the gap between the two markets is closing and broker prices have almost reached the level they were at two years ago, before they started dropping.

"The true impact of the floods is likely to manifest itself in insurance premiums over the next few months in the direct market once claims have been settled and insurers have been able to assess the real impact. The broker market is likely to follow suit." Mr Murby added that the recent rise noted in broker insurance costs is unlikely to have been due to the impact of the floods, as the sector often tends to "react slower" to such events than the direct market.

Consequently, those people concerned at their capacity to keep with rising expenses for running a car may wish to consider taking out a low-rate personal loan. In addition, opting for such a method of borrowing could be advisable for consumers looking to purchase an automobile as it is often a much more competitive choice than selecting a forecourt finance deal. Earlier this year, research released by Halifax showed that the average household spent some 1,509 pounds on vehicles last year - accounting for 4.4 per cent of their disposable income. Overall, the financial services firm also reported that financing a car purchase is the second most popular reason for consumers to apply for a personal loan.

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