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Car insurance statistics 2024

Fact-checked by Molly Dyson

If you’ve compared quotes recently, you might’ve noticed that cheap car insurance is harder to come by.

We have delved into the latest car insurance statistics to look at how much premiums have gone up by, what rising costs providers are facing, and where in the country your wallet is hit the hardest.

This is on top of a whole host of other driving and car insurance-related statistics, including the average payouts for optional extras, why the number of complaints has risen, and which providers are the most trusted.

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  • The average cost of a private fully comprehensive car insurance premium has risen 29 per cent to £561 for July to September 2023 – the highest on record, according to to the Association of British Insurers (ABI)
  • However, based on data from industry analyst Consumer Intelligence, premiums are rising even faster than that, jumping 61 per cent for the 12 months to August 2023
  • Drivers under the age of 25 have been worst hit by the rise in car insurance premiums, while those over-50 have been least affected (Consumer Intelligence)
  • In Q2 2023, the motor insurance industry paid out a record £2.5 billion in claims, according to the ABI
  • Motor insurance complaints were at a five-year high between April and June 2023, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service
  • In 2022, there were 33,457,784 motor insurance policies in force, totalling £14,610,008,799 in retail premiums, based on data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

How much is the average car insurance premium?

It’s important to stress that your car insurance premium is based on a range of personal details, such as your driving history, car, age and location. However, it can still be illuminating to observe the changes in premium costs, and which side of the UK average you fall.

Based on data from the ABI, the average premium for a private, fully comprehensive motor insurance policy was £561 for Q3 2023. That’s not only a 29 per cent increase on the same time the year before, but the highest figure ever recorded by the ABI.

There is a difference between customers renewing their policy and consumers taking out a brand new policy, however. For Q2 2023, the ABI data showed an average renewal premium was £471, while for new premiums it was £566. This potentially reflects the difference between having a no-claims bonus, and not having that discount in place.

Other industry analysts have car insurance premiums rising even faster than that. By August 2023, the average car insurance premium in the UK had risen 61 per cent, according to financial services analyst Consumer Intelligence. This is the biggest annual increase in premiums since Consumer Intelligence began tracking quotes a decade ago. 

In fact, since 2013, the year Consumer Intelligence first collated this data, premiums in the UK have risen nearly 103 per cent. That means they have more than doubled in a decade.

Things are so bad that, based on the Consumer Intelligence Car Index report from September 2023, only 53 per cent of consumers could find a car insurance quote of less than £750 when using a price comparison website. That’s a massive drop from the 69 per cent of customers who were able to do so just six months earlier in February 2023.

Where’s the most expensive area in the UK to get car insurance?

Individual providers may have very different averages to those calculated by the ABI. Nevertheless, such figures are still useful to indicate wider trends – especially when it comes to looking at how much where you live can affect the cost of your car insurance.

For example, in September 2023, the average car insurance premium for Admiral customers across the UK was:

  • England: £1,109.82
  • Scotland: £982.91
  • Wales: £978.53
  • Northern Ireland: £1,004.87

Unsurprisingly, given its population density, Greater London was the single most expensive area to get car insurance in the UK, with the average Admiral premium in the capital costing £1,332.71

This echoes data from Consumer Intelligence that showed that, with a rise of almost 70 per cent, London suffered the single biggest increase in premiums of any region in Great Britain. 

At the other end of the spectrum, the North West – which includes areas such as Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, and Merseyside – saw the smallest increase. However, that still amounted to a 55 per cent surge year-on-year. 

Below is the full table of car insurance premium increases for the year to August 2023, as per Consumer Intelligence:

Region Percentage increase in car insurance premiums
North East 56.1 per cent
Yorkshire & The Humber 60.2 per cent
North West 55.0 per cent
East Midlands 58.1 per cent
West Midlands 64.4 per cent
Eastern 60.7 per cent
London 69.5 per cent
South East 64.2 per cent
South West 59.5 per cent
Scotland 60.6 per cent
Wales 56.0 per cent

How does age affect your car insurance premium?

Car insurance stats how does age affect premiums
Young drivers pay more for their car insurance due to their inexperience behind the wheel (Adobe)

It’s not just location that can affect your premium. Age is a huge factor in determining the cost of your car insurance. 

According to Consumer Intelligence, for the year to August 2023:

  • Under-25s have seen their premiums increase by nearly 67 per cent year-on-year – more than any other age group
  • The over-50s are the least affected, but have still seen their premiums rise by over 56 per cent

This is in line with the experiences of Admiral customers. New drivers aged 17 and 18 years old paid, on average, £1,975.15 for an Admiral car insurance policy in September 2023. In comparison, those over 60 paid £865.04. That’s more than a £1,000 difference.

Below is the full list of average annual Admiral car insurance premiums by age:

Age Average annual Admiral car insurance premium
17 to 18 £1,975.15
19 to 21 £1,555.19
22 to 25 £1,228.68
26 to 30 £1,035.15
31 to 40 £1,052.15
41 to 50 £1,013.64
51 to 60 £880.87
60-plus £865.04

Source: Admiral Group, September 2023

What’s the cheapest car to insure in the UK?

The Ford Fiesta – the most popular car in the UK, with 1.5 million on the road –has an average car insurance premium of £1,158.73 when taking out a policy with Admiral. That high premium is in part because the Ford Fiesta is the most popular car for newly-qualified drivers, according to car finance provider Zuto.

Of the most common cars in the UK, the Nissan Qashqai was, on average, the cheapest to insure through Admiral, with an annual premium of £920.47.

As of September 2023, Admiral states that the following cars are the cheapest to insure in each category:

Category Car Average annual Admiral premium
For 17 year olds Hyundai i10 £1,450.27
For 17 to 25 year olds Ford KA+ £1,026.08
Family car Ford Puma £612.65
Sports car Polestar 2 £820.43

Source: Admiral Group, September 2023

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According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in 2022 motor insurance claims were accepted 99.06 per cent of the time, and the average claim paid out £3,283.14.

 

But what about the various optional policies you can add onto your cover? 

 

  • Breakdown cover: nearly 34 per cent of stand-alone breakdown cover policies had a claim made on them in 2022, compared to just under 12 per cent of add-on policies
  • Personal accident cover: the average payout for a stand-alone personal accident policy was £3,178.85 in 2022, compared to £2,191.67 for an add-on policy
  • Key cover: only 1.32 per cent of add-on key cover policies were claimed on in 2022, with the average claim paying out £314.98

Who is the most trusted car insurance provider?

Given you’ll be interacting with your car insurance provider at times of great stress, such as after an accident, you’ll want to know that the policy and customer service on offer is of high quality.

To help you out, we’ve compiled the Trustpilot scores and Defaqto ratings for the major car insurance providers in the country.

Provider Trustpilot score Policies with five-star Defaqto rating
1st Central 4.4 stars 1st Central Connect 1st Central Legal 1st Central Legal Online 1st Central Plus Online 1st Central Premier 1st Central Premier Online Private Car
AA 4.3 stars Car Insurance (Members) Car Insurance (Non Members) Gold Car Insurance (Members) Gold Car Insurance (Non Members) Platinum Car Insurance (Members) Platinum Car Insurance (Non Members)
Admiral 4.4 stars Car Insurance Car Insurance (third party, fire and theft) Gold Car Insurance Gold Car Insurance (third party, fire and theft) Platinum Car Insurance LittleBox LittleBox (third party, fire and theft) LittleBox Pod LittleBox Pod (third party, fire and theft) MultiCar MultiCar (third party, fire and theft)
Ageas 4.1 stars Car Insurance
Aviva 4.0 stars Motor Insurance MultiCar Insurance Zero Car Insurance Aviva Online Motor Insurance Aviva Online Premium Motor Insurance
AXA 4.3 stars AXA Direct Plus Car Insurance AXA Direct Plus Car Insurance (third party, fire and theft)
Bell 1.6 stars Plug and Drive Plug and Drive (third party, fire and theft)
Churchill 4.1 stars Car Insurance Car Insurance Plus DriveSure Car Insurance DriveSure Car Insurance (telematics) DriveSure Car Insurance Plug In DriveSure Car Insurance Plug In (telematics) DriveSure Car Insurance Prof Fit DriveSure Car Insurance Prof Fit (telematics)
Diamond 1.7 stars Car Insurance Car Insurance (third party, fire and theft)
Direct Line 3.7 stars Car Insurance Comprehensive Plus DrivePlus Car Insurance DrivePlus Car Insurance (telematics) DrivePlus Car Insurance Plug In DrivePlus Car Insurance Plug In (telematics) Select Premier
esure 3.2 stars Car Insurance
Hastings Direct 4.1 stars Car Insurance Premier Car Insurance YouDrive Car Insurance
LV= 4.5 stars Car Insurance Car Insurance (Boundless by CSMA) Extra Car Insurance Plus Car Insurance Highway Bespoke Car And Telematic Insurance
NFU Mutual 4.4 stars Car Insurance Car Insurance (third party, fire and theft) Car Policy – Bespoke Car Policy – Bespoke (third party, fire and theft)
One Call 4.1 stars Pay As You Drive Car Insurance
People’s Choice 1.4 stars Car Insurance
RAC 3.9 stars Car Insurance Plus
Tesco Bank 4.2 stars Car Insurance Car Insurance Cover (Gold) Car Insurance Cover (Silver) Car Insurance Cover+

All information correct as of 21 November 2023

It’s important to note in regard to Trustpilot scores, that for many providers, they reflect the brand as a whole, and not just their car insurance products.

Electric car insurance statistics

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Car insurance premiums for electric vehicles are comparable to fossil fuel-powered cars (Adobe)

According to personal finance expert NimbleFins, the average cost of fully electric car insurance is £654 a year. As with normal cars, however, this can vary greatly by model.

Below are the average insurance quotes available for some of the most popular electric cars:

Electric Average annual premium (based on five cheapest quotes)
Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD £903
Kia Niro 4+ EV £440
Volkswagen ID3 Life £424
Nissan Leaf Tekna £428
Audi E-Tron Technik 50 Quattro £858
Hyundai Kona Premium EV £460
Mini Cooper S Electric Level 2 £403

Source: NimbleFins, November 2023

Despite car insurance costs that are comparable to a non-electric vehicle, there still seems to be a reluctance to take up EVs in the UK, however. 

For example, the country is falling behind the EU in terms of electric vehicle growth, based on research from energy market analyst Cornwall Insight and law firm Shoosmiths. While sales rose 31 per cent in the year to July 2023, that is well behind the near 61 per cent growth seen in the EU.

This reticence is backed up by Auto Trader’s Road to 2030 report, which suggests less than half (47 per cent) of motorists think an electric vehicle would suit their lifestyle.

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Rising costs have understandably created a situation where consumers want more from their car insurance provider. This perhaps explains why motor insurance complaints are at a five-year high, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

 

In total, there were 3,869 complaints about car and motorcycle insurance between April and June 2023.

 

The Financial Ombudsman Service stated that the increased number of complaints was due to insurance providers being slower to pay out claims, and contractor and materials shortages causing repairs to take longer.

What costs do car insurance providers face?

One of the reasons car insurance is so expensive at the moment is that providers are facing their own rising costs, which are then being passed onto consumers. 

For example, ABI research shows that:

  • From April to June 2023, motor insurers paid out a record £2.5 billion in claims, a 29 per cent increase on the same time the previous year
  • In Q3 2023, the price of paint was 16 per cent higher than in Q3 2022, adding to the cost of repairs
  • For July to August 2023, labour costs were up 15 per cent year-on-year
  • The price of spare parts jumped 11 per cent between Q3 2022 and Q3 2023
  • In Q2 2023, the overall cost of vehicle repairs had risen 46 per cent year-on-year to £1.5 billion
  • The cost of providing vehicle replacements also shot up, rising from £103 million in Q2 2022 to £157 million in Q2 2023
  • Thanks to rising second-hand car costs, payouts for vehicle theft surged 53 per cent year-on-year to £196 million in Q2 2023

Car insurance fraud statistics

In 2022, there were a total of 42,500 fraudulent car insurance claims, according to the ABI. That represented 59 per cent of all fraudulent insurance claims full stop. 

Examples of car insurance fraud include giving inaccurate details when you apply for a policy, intentionally causing a crash to make a claim, and exaggerating your personal injuries following an accident.

Driving statistics in the UK

Car insurance provider Aviva has done some interesting research into driving behaviours in the UK, all of which intersect with why and when someone might make a claim.

According to Aviva, the most dangerous time of day to drive is not on your daily commute, or at rush hour, but 3 to 3.15pm. In other words, the school run! Based on this research, it’s the 15-minute period of the day when you’re most likely to have a collision.

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The top five periods of the day when you’re most likely to suffer a car collision are:

  1. 3pm to 3.15pm
  2. 2pm to 2.15pm
  3. 4pm to 4.15pm
  4. 1pm to 1.15pm
  5. 11am to 11.15am

Source: Aviva, September 2023

Meanwhile almost four-fifths of motorists (79 per cent) feel intimidated by other drivers when they’re behind the wheel, according to a survey carried out by Aviva in October 2023. Yet, at the same time, to two-thirds (62 per cent) admitted to being intimidating drivers themselves.

Aviva’s survey showed the top 10 intimidating behaviours on the road are:

Behaviour Percentage of drivers intimidated
Deliberately driving close to another vehicle 51 per cent
Overtaking at high speeds 37 per cent
Undertaking on the inside 27 per cent
Making rude gestures 23 per cent
Honking aggressively 23 per cent
Flashing headlights 22 per cent
Sudden braking 21 per cent
Cutting off or blocking a vehicle 20 per cent
Swearing towards other drivers 19 per cent
Not letting drivers merge onto a motorway or dual carriageway 18 per cent

Car insurance statistics: In conclusion

As with many things in the UK, it’s now more expensive than ever to get car insurance. And this is especially true if you’re younger, live in London, or have a job that involves a lot of driving.  

Insurance providers aren’t necessarily reaping the benefits of these premium increases, however, with total claim payouts also at record highs, and complaints from unhappy customers at levels not seen in half a decade.

However, there are always steps you can take to try and bring the price of your premium down, including adding a named driver if you’re less experienced; carefully considering which optional extras you add to your policy; reducing your annual mileage; and thoroughly comparing the car insurance deals available for your profile instead of auto-renewing.

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.