Unemployed drivers, along with those who are divorced or have children are paying much more for their car insurance, according to research conducted by consumer group Which?

Focussing on a cross-section of questions most frequently asked to those looking for cover, Which? discovered that those without a job are paying up to 22 per cent more on their premiums.

“Being unemployed can be difficult enough but it seems that car insurers are prepared to add insult to injury,” said a Which? spokesperson.

Obtaining online quotes from five of the largest insurers: Aviva, Co-operative Insurance, Direct Line, LV= and More Than Insurance, Which? also found that some providers charge more to drivers who lock their car away safely in a garage, rather than parking it on their driveway.

Their quotes were based on both a low risk Ford driver in their mid-40s, as well as higher risk, younger BMW driver living in London.

With both drivers, if they declared that they were unemployed the quoted premium rose from between 11 and 22 per cent.

Drivers with children were also quoted an extra eight per cent by Direct Line, with LV= adding between one and three per cent.

Which? said: “The assumption has always been that parking in a garage or driveway reduces the risk of theft or someone crashing into your vehicle. But the results of our More Than searches seem to turn this notion on its head.”

Insurance companies have been quick to defend the price hikes. More Than Insurance said: “In terms of where the car is kept overnight, a customer’s perception of how this may impact the price may not always be correct. When generating a premium, we use a number of risk factors. How we rate is based on our experience of the market and the subsequent claims history.”

Direct Line commented with similar, saying: “The difference is due to the increased risk of the alternative scenarios based on our claims experience.”

Have you been experiencing difficulty getting affordable car insurance? Have you ever bent the truth to lower a quote? Have your say below.

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