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Are women better drivers?

Traditionally, lady driver car insurance has been cheaper than men’s because women are safer drivers. They have fewer accidents and, when they do have a prang, it tends to be at lower speeds and causes less damage. From the end of 2013, new equality laws from Europe mean that insurers will no longer be able to use gender to set policy rates. So what will this mean – will there still be cheaper women driver car insurance policies, will men’s insurance premiums decrease? Is it fair?

Women drivers: what’s the evidence

Some men out there will be scarcely able to hide their disbelief, but there is good evidence that women are better drivers. found that women are less likely to have points on their license for speeding, were 13% less likely to have been involved in an accident and that fewer claims were made on lady driver car insurance policies.

Motoring organisation, Wunelli, backed this explanation by studying the ‘black box’ recorders of 19,000 motorists over 40 million journeys over four years. They found that women drivers are 28% less likely to drive at night than men – a time when the risk of serious accidents increases. They also found that women were 12% less likely to exceed the speed limit than men and 11% less likely to brake hard, supporting the idea that women are better drivers than men.

NCP Car Parks also found that women were more efficient at parking than men although they took a few seconds longer to park, women drivers were twice as likely to park centrally than their male counterparts. Men tend to get their car into a space and rush off, unaware that they have strayed into the next space.

Male and female driving styles

So why are women better drivers than men? It’s a great generalisation that men can be more competitive and aggressive and therefore more inclined to drive at faster speeds and to display more risky driving behaviour but there is probably some truth in it. Young men, aged 17-25 are seen as the highest risk and men of this age tend to have a higher accident rate (general accidents as well as road traffic accidents) than any other group.

Culture also plays a part; men are the target of aggressive advertising campaigns that push them towards more powerful, high performance cars, which encourage faster driving. Women are more likely to have children in the car on journeys such as the school run and this naturally makes any driver more cautious and protective.

The impact of the new EU legislation

Whatever the reason, it is a moot point now, since the European legislation means that it will soon be illegal to use gender to set policy prices. Individual car insurance policies will be priced depending on the driving performance of the policy holder, regardless of whether they are male or female.

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One Quote Direct Insurance Services Limited trading as Octagon Insurance Services is an appointed representative of Europa Group Limited and acts as a credit broker and not a lender in relation to premium finance contracts. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 5479983. Europa Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register No. 309794. Registered office: Europa House, Midland Way, Thornbury, Bristol, BS35 2JX.

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