YOUNG male drivers could save up to €2,500 on car insurance from next week, but young women will see increases of up to €300, a new study has found.
The changes follow an EU ruling making it illegal for insurance companies to charge men and women different prices.
This is even though men, and particularly young ones, have a consistently higher rate of serious accidents and claims.
A study by brokers Chill Insurance has found the new gender equality ruling, which comes into effect from December 21, will have a major impact on young drivers' premiums.
The biggest differences are for teenaged drivers as the price gap between male and female premiums narrows dramatically as drivers age.
For drivers over 30, the changes will see male premiums stay the same, while female ones will rise – meaning the industry could end up getting more money out of consumers.
Chill Insurance chief executive Padraig Lynch said there was a suspicion that insurers would try to raise premiums for women without an equivalent reduction for men.
"Consumers' only protection against that is to shop around very carefully over the next year, because there will be a lot of volatility in the market due to this very big change," he said.
For a 17-year-old male driver currently paying a premium of €4,318, the ruling would see his premium come down to €1,834, the study found. For a female driver of the same age however, her premium will rise from €1,542 to €1,834.