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Insurers are still able to discriminate by gender until 21st December 2012 and show every sign of continuing to do so until forced to change, otherwise their policies would become uncompetitive or economically unviable. Though there's not much in it in terms of the number of accidents, men tend to have bigger, more costly accidents. As such, women are normally cheaper to insure than men assuming same age and clean driving history.
Couples are seen as safer than individuals by insurers too so it always makes sense to get quotes as a couple – but age, convictions and claim history won't mean it's always the way to go.
Comparison site Confused.com, owned by the Admiral Group, say as a man, you could save up to 50% on your premium by adding a female spouse who drives regularly, their latest research showing that the average cost of comprehensive cover for a male as sole driver is £954. The average for driver and spouse is £452. These statistics are across all policies so will include 17 year old drivers, most of whom are not married.
The good news is that Confused.com also report that insurance prices have fallen by around 7% since last year, so bear that in mind when you get your renewal through.
Don't forget that a number of insurers have adopted the practice of automatically renewing your policy unless you cancel it. So after you have compared car insurance quotes with or without any additional drivers, don't forget to check for auto-renewal and cancel if necessary.