Motor insurance premiums for women aged 17-25 have risen by 28% since the Gender Directive came into force on December 21, whilst those for young men have dropped by 14.5%. This has put up the average premium for a young woman by nearly £498, according to figures released by motor insurer Drive Like a Girl.

The directive forbids insurers from using gender as a basis for pricing their policies, even though young female drivers are much safer than their male counterparts. The ruling has hit girls who just passed their tests especially hard. 17-18 year-olds have seen their premiums go up by £534.

Before the rule change, young female drivers enjoyed lower premiums because they are involved in fewer serious accidents. Young men are more than twice as likely than women of the same age to cause accidents that involve death or serious injury.

“Girl drivers are safer and deserve lower premiums. It’s unfair that they should be subsidising boy racers like this,” said Drive Like a Girl spokeswoman Charlotte Halkett. “People who drive safely are being penalised by a poorly thought out piece of EU legislation.”

Separate analysis by Drive Like a Girl’s sister company insurethebox has shown that young men are 50% more likely to speed and twice as likely to brake sharply.