Living in the cosmopolitan capital certainly comes with a few drawbacks, and when it comes to the highest car insurance, Londoner’s pay up to 50% more than the rest of the country. With the national average costing £736, premiums are also well known for nudging over the £840 mark in the northwestern parts of the country too.
While most of you will have had limited travel during the pandemic, the insurance premiums have continued to hold their own despite the shaky economy. With providers focusing on certain factors such as age, location, job and the car you drive, there are several things that can impact your final quote. So here it is, the highest car insurance prices by area in the UK:
Location, location, location
Some of you are trapped by your circumstances, there are few opportunities to move away from your area, or quite frankly, you just love where you live! But when it comes to car insurance, prices are determined by several important factors driven by statistics from your local area. They usually include:
- Traffic density
- High-risk road systems
- Accidents in your area
- Crime rates
- Number of honest and fraudulent claims from your area
By zooming in on average car insurance in London, where it sits at £1,088 compared to drivers in Aberdeen who pay £598, you can really see the difference.
Spotlight on insurance fraud
It’s not just your driving that affects the price of your car insurance premium. After all, you share the road with millions of Brits each day and the way they drive and make claims will affect you too.
Unfortunately, dishonesty is a big problem in the UK. According to the ABI, there are up to 1,500 claims made a day. Whiplash claims are one of the biggest threats to your insurance premium, as insurers are often left with no choice but to pay out, as it is so difficult to disprove. If you happen to live in a high fraud area, you can also expect an additional £90 on top of your already pricey premium – all thanks to Bob round the corner!
Despite new legislation in place to stop fraudulent whiplash claims, it’s still a sore spot in the world of insurance.
Uninsured drivers bumping up prices
Every time an uninsured driver hops in a car, they essentially hike up the prices for everyone else, especially if they are involved in a motoring accident with an insured driver. Ultimately someone has to payout, and that someone is the underwriter of the insured driver.
Generally speaking, people who pay their car insurance faithfully each month or per year are going to be more responsible on the roads. Ergo, payouts involving an uninsured party are going to hit the insured driver harder.
It’s worth addressing…
Historically, young drivers have always had the highest premiums. Inexperience matched with a lack of confidence all plays a part, but ultimately it all comes down to statistics. Cover for young drivers (aged between 17 and 24) can be anything up to 24% more expensive than older motorists (aged between 50 – 65+).
In short, young drivers are higher claim risks. On the surface, having to pay for more than double the average car insurance premium sounds extortionate, but then think of it from the insurance brokers point of view.
Now that’s out the way, let’s break it down and see where the highest car insurance prices are by area:
Living in a big city is expensive. Not only do you have all the additional charges to face, such as Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) if your car is not compliant with the strict low emissions standards, but you also face heavier insurance premiums.
London’s population is now estimated to be 9.4 million, the biggest in the UK. So in terms of high population density, traffic density and crime rates, there’s already a whole heap of statistical data weighing up against your impeccable driving skills.
With most Londoner’s facing an insurance bill of over £1,000, there’s little wonder why most of you are scraping the barrel each month.
The North West of England covers a lot of ground. Within it, you can find three of the country’s biggest major cities, Bolton, Liverpool and Manchester, where collectively, the population soars over one million.
On average, motorists are paying 14% more than the national average at £839.79. Broken down into categories, each of the cities typical stats that insurance companies look like this:
- 2021 has seen this vibrant city’s population soar to 500,500 and is growing each year rapidly
- Traffic is a sore point, too, with congestion levels often peeking at 39% and up. This has raised such concern that Liverpool now has its own Clean Air Zone (CAZ)
- High levels of road closures and collisions
- High crime rate levels
- With over 576,000 residents, Manchester is densely populated
- High levels of congestion have also meant Manchester’s own CAZ to cope with the rising emission levels
- High-risk roads
- High crime rate levels
- High fraudulent insurance claims
- Despite being smaller than its northwestern contemporaries, Bolton’s size versus the population of 140,000 is quite significant
- Crime rates above the national average
- High congestion levels and increased risk roads – improvements currently in operation
- Above-average number of accidents and collisions
Home to Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, the West Midlands is a densely populated area that comes with all the traffic and car ownership that comes with the territory. Average premiums in this area are £823.60, making this the third most expensive area in the country.
Like everywhere else on this list, our top three West Midlands cities come with a few factors that will catch any insurers eye:
- The population of this famous industrial city has peaked at over 1.1 million this year
- Varying levels of crime spiking within the city center
- High levels of congestion
- High levels of traffic incidents
- UK’s top “crash for cash” insurance claims
- High population density at 320,000
- High crime rates, including vehicle theft and assault – St Michael’s area near the city centre is a particular hot spot, with over 569 crimes reported in 2020
- Major delays, high congestion and higher risks of collision
- The West Midland’s third biggest city with a population of 260,000
- 2020 ONS figures concluded that Wolverhampton recorded 97.62 crimes per 1,000 people, with the top 4 reported crimes being “vehicle offences recorded”
- Despite the coronavirus pandemic affecting travel in 2020, the local authority still recorded 0.69 billion vehicle miles
Yorkshire and The Humber
Trundling into fourth place for high car insurance, Yorkshire and The Humber’s average premium is £768.28. Yes, it’s a bit more friendly than some of the others on this list, but it’s still remarkably steep when you consider how low it can be!
Home to some of the UK’s most prominent cities, such as Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield, let’s zoom in to see what tips the scales for insurers in the Yorkshire and The Humber area:
- Home to nearly 800,000 residents, Leeds has a high density population for the area it covers – coming second to Birmingham, outside of London
- Between June 2020 and May 2021, 90,854 crimes were reported, including vehicle-related crime
- High levels of congestion and high risk of collision
- Fraudulent insurance claims operating in this area
- The latest figures produced by the ONS suggest that there are now over 534,300 people living in Bradford
- High crime rate, including vehicle theft
- Increased risk of collision
- Rising levels of insurance fraud operating in the area
- The largest town in the UK with population soaring over 270,000
- One of the lower crime rates in the West Yorkshire area
- Gridlocked roads and high risk of collision, especially on nearby M62
- History of insurance fraud and “crash for cash” schemes
Despite being part of the UK for some time now, Northern Ireland’s car insurance premiums can be as much as 30% more than the average. One of the most significant reasons for this price disparity all comes down to lack of choice. But like all the other areas on this list, personal injury compensation payments are high.
Let’s zoom in on some of those alarm bells that make premiums so high for Northern Ireland:
- Rising levels of young drivers – so age really is the deciding factor here
- High levels of uninsured drivers boosting up the premiums for everyone else
- Population estimated to be 1.885 million people via ONS – with over 544,000 in Dublin
- Road traffic incidents are relatively low, with 24 recorded fatalities in 2021
- Dublin city is in the top 5 most congested cities in the world
Tips to save money on your car insurance
If living through a worldwide pandemic has tight us anything, it’s how quickly your circumstances can change overnight. When confronted with challenges, it’s easy to sweep things like insurance renewals under the carpet. But ignoring it isn’t going to do you any favours in the long run.
Even if you find yourself living in one of the high car insurance areas in this article, there are a few things you can do to bring down your premiums. Here are a few handy tips to remember:
- Most insurance companies hike up your premium when you renew automatically. Yes, it’s sneaky, and no, we don’t like it, and neither should you! So make sure you shop around and find yourself a cheaper deal elsewhere
- Don’t be thrifty with your excess. Insurers are more likely to bring down the cost of cover if you’re willing to up the stakes on your voluntary excess
- Reduce your mileage. Less time on the road = less risk of an accident
- Consider installing telematics to earn lower premiums
- Add a named experienced driver. Insurers like it when you’re not solely responsible for the car. Think of it as an “insurance policy!” See what we did there!
- Consider upgrading your car. Modern-day vehicles are safer than ever before. Switch up to an electric vehicle (EV) and just watch your premiums go down. Trust us; we know a thing or two about it ourselves!
- Pay a lump sum. One payment. Zero hassle. Fewer additional costs. Job done.
- Hold on to that no-claims discount – it’s a good ace to keep up your sleeve!
- Park your car in a secure place. Garages are the safest place for a vehicle to be stored overnight. Although you may not have access to one yourself, consider keeping your vehicle off-road at the very least, if possible or right outside your house
Final and the most important tip here: always compare car insurance. Don’t leave it waiting until the last minute. About a month before your current insurance is due for renewal, you can start looking for the best deals around.
Plus, with a wealth of reputable online insurers around, it’s minimal effort for maximum gain. Simply edit your previous details if necessary, tweak your excess and mileage to see what difference it makes to your premiums, and away you go. If you are not satisfied with anything on offer, refine your search again.
Most insurance companies want to keep you as a customer. So if you’re going to secure the best deal possible, keep track of what’s on offer.
Write down prices on offer and any other information that you may find helpful, and get in contact with your current provider. Then, you can start to haggle and see if they can match or offer you something better.
Circumstances have a lot to answer for when it comes to car insurance. From lack of experience and your age group alone to where you live, most of these factors are out of your control. But knowledge is power, and with a few simple tweaks, you can find the best deals around. Are you ready to pay less on your insurance premiums?