CAR insurance premiums plunged by a record rate of 14.1% over the past year amid a "more fiercely competitive market" and expectations that more bogus whiplash claims will be weeded out.

The typical quote for annual comprehensive car insurance cover was £533 in January, which was also a record 4.6% slide on the previous quarter, according to the latest AA Insurance premium index, which takes the average of the five cheapest quotes on the market.

But despite this better news for motorists, Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, warned premiums may have been falling too fast, ahead of much-anticipated changes within the industry. He said "helter-skelter" prices could end up bouncing back up sharply later this year.

Loading article content

The AA British Insurance Premium Index, which has been running for 20 years, found north-west England remained the most costly region to insure a car, although it saw the biggest price drop over the past quarter at 6.3%.

Scotland was also still the cheapest place in Britain to insure a car, with the premium for someone who shops around falling to £389 after a 4.9% drop on the previous quarter.