When it comes to paying for car insurance, women have always had an easier ride.

But a new European Union (EU) law preventing insurers from discriminating on the basis of gender will see the cost of premiums for women across the continent rise when it comes into effect later this year.

As well as pushing up the price for women, the new rules are also set to marginally lower the annuity rate for men.

Despite statistical evidence suggesting women are safer drivers, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided to end insurers' exemption from a directive stating men and women must have equal access to goods and services.

According to Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper women in the UK will see premiums shoot up by an average $570.

Critics have pointed to the fact that in order to balance rates, younger women will see a disproportionate rise in premiums to mitigate the risks associated with insuring young male drivers.

Analysis by the UK government showed that the new law will raise women's premiums by an average 24 percent, while men will enjoy a drop of roughly 9 percent.

The judgment came about after a case was brought to the ECJ by a Belgium consumer group

This is an important step toward putting the fundamental right of gender equality into practice, said Viviane Reding, the European Union's justice commissioner, according to NPR.

The news follows a recent U.S. study  by auto insurers which found that 80 percent of all car accidents that are either fatal or lead to serious injuries are caused by male drivers.

The study also discovered women are 27 percent less likely than men to cause auto accidents.