It's been another expensive year for young drivers, with the cost of car insurance increasing drastically across the board. Indeed, it looks as if, once again, insurers are placing the biggest burdens upon the under-25s. A brand new quarterly Car Insurance Price Index, conducted in partnership with EMB, looks at how changes in the market are affecting your pocket, and the results are startling.

So what did it find?

Well, let's start with the good news. 17 to 20 year-olds saw by far the smallest increases in premiums in the last year. Sadly, that's where it ends. The average driver under 20 will now pay £1,610 on their premium, according to the findings; more than three times the average across all categories. Not only this, it's almost double the rate paid by the next age group - the 21-25's - but that doesn't mean this age bracket have escaped punishment - far from it. In fact, the average cost of a premium for drivers in this age group soared by 14.8 per cent in 2009, compared with the year before, making it the biggest increase of any age category. If you're a 17 year-old boy living in inner London, then you might want to start saving - the findings suggest that you are likely to pay more than anyone else in the UK for your car insurance. However, the good news for the gents is that the gap between male and female premiums appears to be closing, albeit at little more than at snail's pace. Across the UK, the West Midlands saw the biggest overall increases in premiums in the last year at around 18 per cent - however, inner London was once again not far behind with premiums rising by 17.4 per cent. Meanwhile, it seems that those looking to escape soaring car insurance costs should head north of the border, with the three smallest rises in premiums seen in East and North-East Scotland, the Highlands and Islands, and Central Scotland.

...and it gets worse

One thing is clear - prices are increasing across the board, and sadly there is no hiding place with experts suggesting car insurance premiums could continue to rise. EMB Partner, Karl Murphy, said: "Last year the average car insurer paid out £1.20 for every £1 of premium they received. Insurance providers have been badly impacted by rising numbers of injury claims, and with no signs of a reversal in this trend and negligible investment income available to them, further price rises can be expected." This worrying suggestion is borne out by the new figures, which show a rapid and dramatic rise in car insurance premiums that's unlikely to end soon. In the last quarter of 2009 alone, prices increased by 6.5 per cent - the highest quarterly increase in the three years analysed by the new and EMB motor insurance price index. Whatever your age, gender or location, it's becoming more and more important to ensure you're getting the very best deal on your car insurance. Start today by comparing prices to find the cover that best suits you.