Young women drivers could see their insurance premiums go up by hundreds of pounds when new European rules are brought in later this year.
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A ruling on gender discrimination when setting car insurance premiums by the EU is set to come into force at the end of this year.
The new rules mean that insurance providers will not be allowed use gender discrimination when assessing an application for car insurance.
The decision has come under fire from campaigners and womenís groups, who point out that female drivers are far less likely to have a crash than male drivers and are involved in far fewer serious road accidents.
The new changes are designed to create more equal rates for men and women, meaning that women will be paying far higher premiums.
Analysis by the Treasury has found that the changes mean that women will see their premiums go up by 24%, while menís will drop by around 9%.
It was found that women will end up paying an average of £362 extra per year for their car insurance.
ìThis gender ban is disappointing news for UK consumers and something the UK insurance industry has fought against for the last decade,î Malcolm Tarling, from the Association of British Insurers.
Figures released by motoring organisation the AA have shown that car insurance premiums have more than doubled in the last five years.
In 2008 a comprehensive policy cost an average of £481 ñ compared to £971 for the same policy in January this year.
Concerns were also raised about the lowering of premiums for men, who may buy faster cars as a result of the reduced cost.
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