Over-50s hit by rising car premiums – here's how to beat them

Sam Barker
Research shows the elderly continue to pay more, while youngsters pay less - © Daniele Pietrobelli / Alamy Stock Photo

Older motorists are paying ever-increasing insurance premiums while younger drivers pay less – but there are ways for the over-50s to beat the rise.

This group saw the biggest rise in their insurance costs last year, as prices rose 3.3pc to an average of £413, according to analysts Consumer Intelligence. Younger drivers either experienced a smaller increase or saw their average premiums fall.

Insurance costs rose by 2.6pc for drivers between the ages of 25 and 49, to an average of £714.

Premiums actually fell 1.2pc for motorists under the age of 25 during 2019. However, this age bracket continued to pay the most for cover: £1,591 on average. The reason older drivers are paying more is mostly due to factors outside their control.

Drivers have been getting older as the population ages. Once motorists reach 70, statistics show they are more likely to have accidents. The risk of this has fed into a higher average insurance premium.

There is an increasing number of older drivers on the roads, as public transport has suffered from budget cuts in many rural areas. Elderly drivers also tend to be less proficient at using the price comparison websites which promote the cheapest premiums and bring down the average.

This means the insurance market for the over-50s remains less competitive than for those using websites. However, there are ways drivers can fight back against rising premiums.

Ensuring your occupation is listed as “pensioner” rather than “unemployed” can make a difference. When drivers reach retirement age insurers tend to register them as “unemployed” and charge more as a result.

Adding an adult son or daughter to a policy will also bring the premium down. However, this will not apply for additional drivers in their early 20s.

John Blevins, of Consumer Intelligence, said cheaper premiums for younger people have been the result of telematics technology, or so-called “black boxes”. These monitor driving and reward careful road use. However, older drivers can also benefit from the technology.

An offshoot of telematics only records how many miles a car clocks up, then rewards lower mileage with cheaper premiums. This is particularly helpful for older drivers, who tend to cover less distance than younger ones.

James Blackham of By Miles, a telematics broker, said: “Many older drivers save hundreds of pounds with our pay-by-mile policies.”

The cost of insurance for older drivers has increased sharply since 2013, when Consumer Intelligence first started their monitoring.

Over-50s now pay 47.2pc more than they did in 2013, while the 25-49 bracket pay 32pc extra. However, the under-25s are paying 20pc less.