Scotland is the cheapest country in the UK for car insurance with almost half of the most affordable areas north of the Border, a study has revealed.
Kirkwall in Orkney is the second cheapest area, according to an index by AA Insurance, and the annual premium of £252.13 is down by 1.9 per cent on the previous quarter.
Aberdeen, Perth, Lerwick, Inverness and Galashiels are all in the UK cheapest 15 areas for car insurance.
An average motorist living in London faces paying £922 a year, almost four times the amount that a driver in the Isle of Man would spend on their car insurance.
Central London remains as the most expensive place to own a car, followed by Ilford and Manchester. A spokesman for AA Insurance said that in general, someone living in the east, north-east and north of London will tend to find their car insurance is more expensive than someone living in south-west London.
The Glasgow postcode saw an average premium of £462.38, down 4 per cent since the previous quarter, and Edinburgh was down 2.4 per cent to £337.30. Dundee saw a rise of 0.5 per cent to £312.18.
A spokesman for the AA said: “Because of a different legal system claims for whiplash injury and associated legal costs are much lower in Scotland than they are in the UK so Scotland as a whole benefits from lower premiums than England and Wales.
“However as always, averages can be relatively meaningless because there will be some localities that command much higher premiums than others – for instance some inner city areas where crime levels are higher than elsewhere.”
In general, the annual cost of comprehensive car insurance cover has fallen by around £120 over the last year, to reach £504 typically, according to the AA’s figures, which come amid government moves to weed out bogus insurance claims which add to the costs of everyone’s policies.
Last month the AA reported that Scotland as a whole had seen insurance premiums fall by 21.3 per cent year on year.
According to separate figures released yesterday by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba), the cost of home and motor insurance has also fallen across the UK in real terms by 6.8 per cent in the last year.
But Janet Connor, managing director of AA Insurance, said: “There are already signs that some insurers are looking to put their prices up and I believe that this time next year, the AA’s index will reflect a rising trend.
“But I don’t expect to see the sharp premium inflation we saw between 2009 and 2011, when over a 12-month period premiums rose by more than 40 per cent.
“The premium reflects the likelihood of a claim being made and, in some urban areas, there is much greater risk of a collision taking place, or of car crimes such as theft of or from a vehicle, uninsured driving or attempts at ‘cash for crash’ fraud.
“Sadly, the criminality of some people has a detrimental effect of the premiums paid by honest motorists in such places.
“But over the past year premiums have, on average, fallen.”