The new EU Gender Directive will come into force next month which could result in up to a quarter of all women being forced off the road as a result of higher premiums, according to a survey by Uswitch.com
The directive which comes into effect on the 21st December 2012 will prevent insurers from adjusting rates based on their actuarial experience of women having less motor insurance claims, thereby increasing premiums for female drivers by up to 25%.
Two-thirds (66%) of women were aware of the new insurance rules and had underestimated the potential extent of the price rise, while two-fifths (43%) believed their premiums would rise by 15% rather than the 25% predicted by the industry.
According to the survey, the move could leave 13% of women unable to afford insurance and a further 11% said that they would be forced to sell their cars.
The survey found that despite the hardship facing female drivers, two-thirds (66%) of men said they believed the new legislation was needed. However, only 18% of women thought the legal change was acceptable.