Men opting for higher horsepower – and paying higher Insurance because of it

Men go for bigger cars than women, on average, and this bumps up their insurance premium according to AA Insurance. Based on an analysis of a sample of 100,000 Irish motor insurance policies, the AA study shows that just 10.2% of male motor policy holders are driving a vehicle that has an engine size of 1.2 litres or less.  This is compared to a quarter of females.

Double the amount of men than women drive cars with an engine size of at least 2 litres at 15% and 7.5% respectively.  At the most powerful end of the scale, cars with engines sizes of 3 litres or more are almost three times more likely to have a man than a woman as the main driver. 2.3% of male policy holders within the AA’s study are driving cars that have an engine size of 3 litres or more compared to 0.8% of women.  With more fuel pumped into higher cc engines, the results suggest that males are heavier fuel consumers than females.

“Our data, which takes in a sample of 100,000 of our AA motor insurance policies, supports the stereotype that men are much more likely to flash the cash on big cars than women.”   Says John Farrell, AA Motor Insurance’s Commercial Director.

“This will have an impact on the loadings on their insurance policies for many male drivers. Traditionally, the most powerful cars are the most expensive to insure.  Customers should contact a broker like AA who will search a panel of approved insurers on your behalf to get the best deal on motor insurance irrespective of engine size.” Says Farrell.

The cost of motor insurance varies considerably depending on the person – male or female, age, experience, licence type, penalty points, annual mileage and occupation all have an effect. But taking all of these into consideration it still costs on average about 60%* more to insure a 2 litre car compared to a 1 litre. For young males, that difference is considerably more.

Within the 1.2 litres and under category, Japanese cars followed by French are the most popular among both sexes within the AA’s sample.  Italian makes are the third most popular among men, whereas German were third for women.  At the 3 litres plus end of the scale, German makes are favoured by men whereas Women favour  Japanese makes.  This perhaps backs up another stereotype, in that women with larger cars often drive 4x4s or people carriers and these are somewhat more likely to be Japanese.

New car ownership is virtually neck and neck among AA motor insurance customers with 4% of their male customers owning 2010 cars versus 3.7% of women.  Overall 23.2% of AA motor insurance customers are driving a car than is more than 10 years old.

*Based on 16 quotes sourced from different underwriters, comparing Dublin based male 25-30, full licence, 6 yrs NCD, sedentary occupation, car value €6000, 1 litre car (avge price €506) vs 2 litre car (avge price €832).