Northern Ireland drivers urged to shop around as car insurance costs on the rise
Car insurance prices in Northern Ireland have increased for the first time in 18 months.
Drivers here can now expect to pay £939 for their premiums - up by £45 (5%) in the last year.
This is the first time that costs have increased locally since late 2017.
The figures are contained in the latest car insurance price index compiled by comparison site Confused.com, which is based on more than six million quotes a quarter.
Car insurance prices in Northern Ireland have been fluctuating over the past six months but are now showing signs of rising, the survey suggests.
According to the data, the average cost of car insurance in the region has increased by £33 (4%) in the past three months alone.
These increases are reflected across the rest of the UK, as the average price of car insurance increased by £37 (5%) over the year.
The average cost of car insurance in the UK is now at £789 - the most expensive in 18 months.
The survey found more than a quarter (27%) of UK motorists are confused about why the cost of their car insurance is increasing.
And while some consumers believe loyalty pays, further research conducted by Confused.com suggests this is not the case.
It found nearly half (47%) of UK drivers who received their renewal notice in the most recent quarter - from April to June - said their price had increased by £50 year-on-year.
Yet more than half (52%) of these went on to renew with the same insurer, despite the price increase.
More than a fifth (23%) of these drivers made the decision to stay with their provider because they didn't feel the increase was very big.
Experts say drivers should shop around, even if their renewal price hasn't increased significantly, as there is still an opportunity to make substantial savings.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: "We should be shopping around for the best deal, whether we are a new driver or renewing for the tenth year, as there is always another insurer out there willing to offer us a better deal."