2014 in review: enjoy it while it lasts


New data for 2014 in total shows that car and van insurance rates fell for the year – but experts say don’t get used to the phenomenon.

The cost of motoring seems to go up and down like a child’s yo-yo toy, doesn’t it? Between the price of a litre of petrol and the constantly fluctuating car insurance premium prices we’re all subject to, it’s a wonder anyone has any money left over for anything else at the end of the year. Still, there’s good news for drivers, as an insurance comparison site just did some maths and came up with some cheerful figures: the average premium price dropped by more than 6 per cent over the course of 2014. Not only back, but that builds on the back of 2013’s 3.2 per cent drop and 2012’s 2.6 per cent decrease as well. Combine that with petrol prices trending downwards and there are some happy chappies out there when it comes to motoring costs!

Of course, nothing lasts forever – and industry analysts are already raining on our parade by warning how things are likely to take a turn for the worse in the New Year. Those premium prices might have bottomed out this December, as data shows averages were some 0.7 per cent higher than they were 12 months before that. In other words, it looks like the costs of annual cover is likely to begin trending upwards at least, though petrol prices are likely to remain low for a bit longer.

So why the roller coaster? The casualties of a price war amongst insurance companies, analysts say. Everyone’s been jockeying for position, and they’ve all been slashing their prices precipitously, only to suddenly realise they’ve cut back so far that they can’t sustain their business this way. This means prices are going to come up, up, up in the New Year.

However, you’ll still be likely to get a good deal if you switch providers soon. Insurers will likely leave their cut-rate premium prices for last and simply jack up the rates for their existing customers, as is their wont. When you start seeing higher prices for new customers, then you know we’ve arrived in the thick of it.

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