car insurance, TAGUAS SIDE HUSTLES

Car Insurance For Women

Women aren’t offered cheaper car insurance than men on the basis of their gender, but they often benefit from cheaper premiums due to the choices they make and the way they drive.

Up until 2012, women generally paid less for car insurance than men on average. This was because women are statistically safer drivers, make fewer claims than men, and make lower-value claims when they do claim, so insurers assumed any woman applying for cover would warrant a lower premium than a male counterpart.

In 2012, in pursuit of gender equality, the European Court of Justice made it illegal for insurance companies to use gender to calculate premiums – not just car insurance, but other forms of cover as well, including life insurance.

car insurance, TAGUAS SIDE HUSTLES

However, some insurers still market themselves as a good option for women drivers and offer extras specifically aimed at female drivers.

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What was the European Court of Justice case about?

In 2012, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that using differences between men and women as a risk factor in setting premiums for car insurance (and life and medical insurance), breached EU rules on equality.

The UK was part of the EU at this time, so the new rules were implemented in the UK. This meant that, even though women as a group are statistically safer drivers than men, these gender-based group statistics can no longer be taken into account when calculating car insurance premiums.

The EU decision meant that, in general terms, women faced higher car insurance costs while men benefited from lower car insurance costs.

When it came to life insurance, the reverse was true, because women no longer benefited from the fact that, statistically, they tend to live longer than men.

Is car insurance cheaper for women?

Assuming everything else is equal, car insurance for women is not cheaper than cover for men. Insurers cannot make a blanket assumption about what to charge a person with regard to their gender – pricing is based purely on the individual’s circumstances.

However, the statistics show that female drivers are less likely to have had an accident, made a large-value claim or received points for speeding than a male driver. 

Fewer claims mean women are more likely than men to have built up a large no claims discount (NCD). 

Women are also less likely to drive large powerful cars than men, opting for smaller, lower-value cars instead. This affects the value of claims made.

So when a woman submits her details on a car insurance application, it is entirely possible she will qualify for lower premiums on the basis that her details are more attractive to the insurance company than those of a man.

Insurers are also allowed to charge more to people who work in certain professions. Thus, women in jobs that are predominantly done by females, such as nursing, may find they have access to cheaper car insurance. 

Which providers offer car insurance for women?

Although they can’t charge women cheaper premiums than men because of their gender, some insurers still market themselves to women drivers. Such firms include:

  • GoGirl
  • Diamond
  • Sheilas’ Wheels

These insurers typically offer policy extras such as:

  • Handbag cover
  • Child car seat cover
  • Breakdown cover
  • Protected no claims discount
  • Courtesy car cover

How can I cut the cost of car insurance for women? 

There are a number of things women can do to reduce the cost of car insurance.

Drive safely

Car insurance premiums are affected by past insurance claims and points you receive for speeding or other driving offences. Whatever your gender, the better you drive, the cheaper your premiums will be.

Increase your voluntary excess

All car insurance policies come with a compulsory excess. This is the amount you have to pay yourself in the event of a claim. Adding a voluntary excess on top of the compulsory excess can lower your premium, but bear in mind that the excess will be deducted from any payment you receive, so make sure you can afford it.

Pay annually

Car insurers give customers the choice of paying for their insurance upfront each year, or monthly. Although monthly payments may be convenient, the insurer is effectively loaning you the entire premium and it will charge interest on this amount, meaning you’ll pay more for cover overall. 

Reduce your mileage

Insurers look at your predicted annual mileage when calculating premiums. The fewer miles you drive, the less chance there is you will have an accident, and so your premium will be cheaper.

Improve your car’s security

Having an alarm or immobiliser fitted to your car may reduce your car insurance premium as it will make your vehicle harder to steal. Some insurers might also offer a discount if you have a dash-cam. 

Shop around

Shopping around for car insurance will save you money. Don’t just accept your existing insurer’s renewal quote – instead, use a comparison site to see if you can get a cheaper policy. 

The best time to do this is about three weeks ahead of your renewal date. If you leave it until the day before, you’ll pay more for your cover because the insurer will think you’re more likely to take what’s on offer.

How can I stay safe as a woman driver?

  • Locking your car doors and keeping your windows closed while driving
  • Double-check the back seat when you get in your car
  • Buy breakdown cover – some car insurance providers sell this as an add-on
  • Keep valuables out of sight and don’t leave your handbag on the front seat
  • Be wary of pulling over if someone signals for you to unexpectedly
  • Regularly check your tyres, oil and coolant
  • Have your car serviced each year and don’t drive without a valid MOT
  • Carry a torch, warm clothing, a blanket, jump leads, water and food in case of a breakdown
  • Park in well-lit areas and reverse into spaces so you can drive out quickly if necessary
  • Always have your mobile phone with you and keep it charged
  • If you think you are being followed by another car, drive to a police station or, failing that, head to somewhere you know will have family or friends who can help you if necessary.

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Emma LunnContributor

Forbes Advisor UK’s broadband and mobiles expert, Emma Lunn has reported prolifically on the subjects for more than 16 years. Her award-winning work features in national newspapers, right through to specialist websites and trade titles.

Kevin PrattEditor

I am the UK editor for Forbes Advisor. I have been writing about all aspects of household finance for over 30 years, aiming to provide information that will help readers make good choices with their money. The financial world can be complex and challenging, so I’m always striving to make it as accessible, manageable and rewarding as possible.

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