Men are still paying significantly more for car insurance than women despite the EU banning the use of gender when calculating premiums.

A report by Compare the Market shows men pay an average of £821 to insure a car – 27% higher than the average price for women of £649.

The gender gap has actually increased since the introduction of the EU Gender Directive in December 2012.

A month after the legislation came into place there was a difference of 20%. In the past year alone, the average price of car insurance has risen by £46 for men and £41 for women.

Overall, the average cost of car insurance is £740 and has gone up by £42 since this time last year, according to the Premium Drivers report.

Compare the Market said the cheapest policies had also increased in price by £33 over the past year and now cost £612.

The past three years have been relentless for British drivers

John Miles, Compare the Market
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John Miles, head of motor at Compare the Market, said: “The past three years have been relentless for British drivers, with the average insurance premium spiralling by 38% to £740.

“The past year has been particularly hard, with changes to Insurance Premium Tax and the personal injury discount, or ‘Ogden’, rate draining the pockets of motorists at a time that wage growth remains stagnant.

“Although the Ogden rate looks like it might be changed, some damage has already been done for drivers.”

The Ogden discount rate is used to calculate the amount of compensation that should be awarded in personal injury cases.

The idea is that it adjusts the amount paid out in order to put claimants in the same financial position as if they had not been injured.

The rate was reduced on 20 March this year from 2.5% to 0.75%.

This impacts car insurance prices because insurers also use the Ogden rate to set the amount of compensation they pay out.

It is assumed, for the purposes of calculating compensation, that pay outs are invested in government bonds.

The upshot of this is the higher the Ogden rate, the lower the upfront compensation amount and vice versa.

So with the rate going down, pay outs for accident victims will go up. This means more costs for insurance providers and therefore bigger premiums for consumers. 

Reforms to the rate announced this month partially reverse the earlier change, bringing assumed interest rates up and pushing down the amount paid in compensation.