Age, gender and marital status significantly affect how much Americans pay for car insurance, according to a new study from And the disparity in insurance costs is highest among young people. looked at premiums for drivers of varying ages, genders and marital status. The study used a fictional driver that was employed, owned a 2012 sedan, had a bachelor's degree, a clean driving record and no lapses in coverage.

The findings were surprising. Turns out, numerous characteristics that seemingly have nothing to do with driving can drastically affect how much you pay for insurance.

For both men and women, simply being younger means paying more, with car insurance rates falling each year until age 60. After age 60, premiums start to rise a small amount. InsuranceQuotes found that a 25-year-old single male pays an average of almost 50 percent less for car insurance than a 20-year-old. And a 25-year-old single woman pays 39 percent less than a 20-year-old.

Additionally, until age 30, women pay much less than men. The average single 20-year-old woman pays 23 percent less than a single 20-year-old man for the same exact policy. At age 25, women pay about four percent less. And then from ages 35 to 65, women actually pay about one percent more than men.

Finally, married people tend to pay much less for insurance than single people. According to the study, the average married 20-year-old female pays 28 percent less than a single female of the same age. The gap is about the same for men. The discrepancy between married and single drivers shrinks considerably by age 25, however, and continues to do so as they age.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lower your premium is you fit into one of the higher-paying categories.

"All drivers can pay less for car insurance, regardless of their gender, age or marital status," said Laura Adams,'s senior analyst. "In addition to regularly comparing at least three quotes from different insurers, consumers should review potential discounts with their current insurer. This is even more important for younger drivers because they tend to pay the highest rates. Consider things like good student discounts, avoiding small claims and bundling your car and renter's insurance policies with the same carrier."

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