Car insurance premiums have fallen over the last six months in the UK due to the market becoming more competitive, supermarket financial services provider Sainsbury's Bank says.

The Sainsbury’s Bank Car Insurance Index looks at premiums over a six month period. Between August 2005 and January 2006, the average premium fell from GBP470.17 to GBP462.15. The differences varied depending on age and location, with the over 65’s enjoying the largest reduction from GBP342.49 to GBP327.13, a drop of 4.5%.

On a regional basis, London is predictably the most expensive area to insure a car, with the average premium in January at GBP559.31, compared to East Anglia, the cheapest area, at GBP327.13. However, premiums in East Anglia were among the few in the country that rose over the six months, by 2.55%.

Richard Clark, Sainsbury’s car insurance manager said: Competition in the car insurance marketplace is strong so it pays to shop around for cover. However, despite this, we estimate that as many as 19% of motorists only obtain one quote when they purchase car insurance. Indeed, we know that 48% simply renew their existing policy.