Car insurance premiums have plunged at a record rate of 12% year-on-year amid a tougher clampdown to combat bogus motor accident claims which add to the costs of everyone's policies.
The typical quote for annual comprehensive car insurance cover was £568 in October, marking a 4.5% drop on July and a 12.4% fall on a year ago, according to the latest AA Insurance premium index, which takes the average of the five cheapest quotes on the market.
This is the biggest annual slide that the AA has on its records, which go back to 1994, and marks a sharp turnaround for motorists following a period of strong increases, with premiums rising by more than 40% just two years ago.
People aged in their early 20s to late 30s have typically seen the biggest drops in their insurance premiums over the last year, with falls recorded across all age groups, AA Insurance said.
Drivers in Scotland have seen the biggest fall in their premiums over the last quarter, with a 5.5% drop taking costs to £424 on average. Scotland remains the cheapest place to insure a car in the UK.
East Anglia has seen the smallest drop over the last three months, with a 1.4% fall taking average premiums to £538. The North West has the highest average premiums at £899 typically, although this marks a 5.1% drop compared with the previous quarter.
The findings come as Justice Secretary Chris Grayling unveiled tougher action to combat whiplash injury fraud. New independent medical panels will be introduced under the plans, which will make it harder for people to exaggerate or make up injury claims. Insurers estimate bogus whiplash claims typically add an extra £90 to a driver's policy.
There have also been recent signs of stronger action to break up criminal gangs who take part in scams such as "crash for cash", when a driver deliberately slams on their brakes so that the unsuspecting motorist behind hits them.
A newer variation of this is called "flash for cash", where a fraudster flashes their car headlights to give the impression they are going to allow another driver to pull out into the road and then deliberately rams into the other vehicle.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said that the car insurance market has become more competitive as insurers reduce their rates based on the savings they anticipate making.
He said: "The insurance industry is working hard with enforcement agencies to bring those attempting to make a fraudulent injury claim to book.
"Indeed, there have been some recent widely-publicised arrests of criminal gangs deliberately causing crashes through 'crash for cash' and its new variation, 'flash for cash' scams in order to cash in on insurers by making false whiplash injury claims against innocent motorists.
"Honest motorists have been putting up with their premiums being affected by false or exaggerated injury claims for far too long."
Drivers aged between 23 and 29 years old have seen the biggest decline in their premiums over the last year, with a typical 15.5% annual drop taking the size of a policy to around £704.
Those in the 30 to 39-year-old age group saw the second biggest annual fall at 13.6%, pushing the cost of a typical premium to £492.
Motorists aged between 17 and 22 years old have seen the smallest year-on-year drop, with a 4.6% fall taking the average premium to £1,198. Young drivers' premiums are particularly high because of their high accident rate. One fifth of teenage drivers makes a claim within the first six months of driving, AA Insurance said.
Although young men tend to be the cause of many accidents, European "gender equality" rules which came into force last December mean that insurers are no longer allowed to take someone's sex into account when calculating how much they should pay for their car insurance.
This means that young women renewing their policies after their first year's driving can expect to see premium increases which will "more than cancel out their first year's no-claim bonus," the study warned.