The cost of car finance is not the only significant expense to consider, if current trends in insurance premiums are anything to go by.

A survey by Canstar has shown that car insurance premiums have gone up significantly over the past twelve months, by anything up to 11.75%. While it was motorists in Tasmania that copped that price rise, Queenslanders have been whacked by a 7.11% increase, putting the average car insurance premium up to $913, with the average increase across Australia coming in at 7.95%. That’s more than three times the current inflation rate of 2.5% pa.

Canstar sourced data from more than 28,000 car insurance quotes for a range of different vehicles, personal circumstances and postcodes and a range of different policy types to compile the report. Although the poor Tasmanians got the heftiest price rise, the actual cost of car insurance remains the highest in NSW, with an average premium of $1,464.

Insurance premium increases were greatest for families, who are now paying 12% more than a year ago, and drivers under 25, who are paying 10% more.

A Canstar representative speculated that recent natural disasters in Australia had resulted in a larger number of claims than usual, which forced the insurance companies to put up their premiums.

Here are the increases, by state:

  • QLD 7.11%
  • NSW/ACT 4.55%
  • VIC 9.21%
  • SA 8.17%
  • TAS 11.75%
  • WA 6.91%

A spokesperson from the Insurance Council of Australia was coy about what factors might influence an insurance premium, stating each individual insurer had its own ‘commercially sensitive’ mechanisms for determining the premium level. But you can be sure  executives from those same insurance companies will be poring over another recent report, this time from online car buying company Private Fleet, who surveyed over 3,500 people online about who they thought were the worst drivers.

The shock is that it wasn’t the usual suspects – 4WD and Volvo drivers, and even BMW drivers were not voted the worst – it was Audi drivers that came out on top (or bottom depending on how you look at it). Audi drivers that took part in the survey were the ones who fessed up most to texting or using their phone while driving, coming out just ahead of Renault drivers.

Another surprise revelation in the survey was driving behaviours by age group. If you thought it was the youngsters driving around phoning and texting all the time you’d be wrong – the 26-40 age group were greater offenders than the 18-25 age group.

A comment from a spokesperson from AAMI insurers may be some reassurance for Audi drivers, when he said the make of a car alone is not the basis for your insurance premium, although they do take into account factors relating to a particular model, such as power, weight and repair costs.

Overall the survey found the worst drivers to be more likely to drive an Audi, Renault, Jeep, Suzuki or, yes, a Volvo. The best drivers on the other hand were more likely to drive a Land Rover, Mitsubishi, BMW, Hyundai or Skoda. Or perhaps they’re just bigger liars.

If you’d like competitive car insurance you can contact us or submit an insurance quote online.