Car insurance premiums surged at the end of 2015 after three years of falls, with older drivers suffering the dramatic increases the most.

The growth in costs over the last quarter of the year is the biggest annual rise since 2011, with car insurance premiums increasing by 7 per cent.

Over the course of the year car insurance premiums rose by 13 per cent, the equivalent to an increase of £78 to £672, according to figures released by analyst Willis Towers Watson and

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rose in November 2015, with the standard rate increasing by more than half from 6% to 9.5%.

These figures show a worrying trend that car insurance prices are on an upward spiral compared to those from late 2011, which marked the beginning of a continuous fall in costs until early 2015.

Older drivers are the worst affected by the rising car insurance premium prices, with women over 71 suffering a 19 per cent annual increase, while men aged between 61 and 65 saw a 10 per cent rise in the final quarter of 2015.

Surprisingly, younger drivers have dodged a major increase, with female drivers aged between 17 and 20 paying just 4 per cent more on a year earlier.

Overall, men of all ages will feel the hit slightly harder, with the cost of their car insurance premiums jumping by 15 per cent, and women's by 11 per cent.

The findings were based on price data compiled from just under two million customer quotes, of which the average premium for an annual comprehensive car insurance policy was £672.

Another figure that continues to rise is the £2 billion spent on whiplash claims. In December, Aviva said 80 per cent of its UK motor claims were for whiplash and soft tissue injuries.

The high volume of claims led Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to announce a crackdown on whiplash claims in the Autumn Statement. Osborne said this would save consumers £40 to £50 per motor insurance policy after it takes effect in April 2017.

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