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Average Cost of Car Insurance UK 2020

Cheap Car Insurance in Your Area

Quickly compare over 100 UK insurance providers. Powered by QuoteZone.

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Heading into 2020, the average cost paid for car insurance in the UK is now £484 a year according to the ABI. Motor insurance rates have generally dropped in recent years—however, car insurance is still one of the biggest costs of owning and running a car and rates have recently ticked up. Here's how your premium may differ depending on factors like the type of car you drive, your age and even where you live.

Table of Contents

How Much is UK Car Insurance?

While the average cost of UK car insurance is £484 a year, see how your age, car and location can affect premiums by up to 500% or more.

chart showing the average car insurance cost UK
How much is car insurance UK?

Due to intense competition in the industry, car insurance costs have actually decreased over the past few years—although there has been a recent up tick heading into 2020. Here's the data on the average price paid for car insurance in the UK by quarter:

Average Car Insurance Cost UK
Q4 2017£491
Q1 2018£478
Q2 2018£479
Q3 2018£471
Q4 2018£479
Q1 2019£466
Q2 2019£467
Q3 2019£468
Q4 2019£484

Is this how much you should expect to pay for car insurance? Not necessarily. For starters, the figures above reflect all types of car insurance (Third Party Only (TPO), Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) and Comprehensive) so if you want Comprehensive cover you are likely to pay more.

And the cost of car insurance varies widely from person to person, for example ranging from as little as £350 up to £2,000 a year or more for comprehensive cover. Young driver insurance premiums are typically high, over £1,000, as are premiums for those who have a bad driving history (e.g., convictions and at-fault accidents) and/or drive an expensive car.

To better understand how much you'll need to pay for car insurance, we researched UK comprehensive car cover from some of the top 10 car insurance companies in the UK. First, we looked at how prices change as you age from a young driver to a middle-aged driver to a senior driver—rates generally fall between the ages of 20 and 50, then rise again for drivers over 60 years old.

We also checked car insurance prices for cheap comprehensive motor cover for the 5 most popular car models: Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, VW Golf, Nissan Qashai and Mercedes Benz A Class. Use this information to help spot a good deal and know when you should look for a cheaper policy.

Average Car Insurance Costs by Age UK

To see how driver age impacts the cost of comprehensive car insurance, we gathered quotes for the UK's most popular car, a Ford Fiesta, across a range of ages for a male driver. Rates typically drop throughout adulthood until around 60 years of age. In our study, premiums dropped 45% between the ages of 20 and 55, then rose again by 60% from age 55 to 75. Prices are higher for younger and older drivers because insurance companies perceive a higher risk of road traffic accidents amongst these age groups.

Average Cost of Cheap Comprehensive Car Insurance, by Driver Age
20 Years£851
25 Years£719
35 Years£639
45 Years£575
55 Years£468
65 Years£491
75 Years£752
chart showing how car insurance quotes depend on age
How Car Insurance Prices Change with Driver Age
Car insurance rates for teens are easily in the range of £1,000 to £2,000 a year, or more. Teenage drivers are the most risky age group, and therefore pay 2X to 3X what an experienced driver would pay for car insurance. For information on the cost of auto insurance for very young drivers, please see our article Average Cost of Car Insurance for Young Drivers.
In general, younger drivers in their 20s will pay more for insurance than more experienced drivers. We found that drivers aged 20 were charged an average quote of around £850; drivers aged 25 years old would pay £720, or 15% less, for the same comprehensive cover. Higher premiums are theoretically justified because younger drivers are statistically more likely to have an accident. Younger drivers not only have less experience but they're known to engage in riskier driving behavior, and therefore present a higher risk to insurance companies.
As a group, drivers in their 30s pay less for car insurance than they did in their 20s. In fact, the average cheap quote in our study was £639 for a 35 year old, which was £80 less than the price for a 25 year old. All else equal, the cost of car insurance should drop until around age 60. Drivers aged 30 to 60 are generally more experienced and less accident prone, resulting in lower premiums. New drivers over 30 in the UK will pay more than an experienced 30 year old, but should pay less than a similarly inexperienced younger driver.
While car insurance premiums decrease substantially for both male and female drivers in middle age, our research showed that insurance premiums begin to trend upwards for drivers in their 60s. This is because insurers think drivers will become more accident-prone as they age. In fact, from age 65 to 75 we found that a driver can expect their premiums to rise by around 50%.
Cars in a lower Insurance Group are typically cheaper to insure. For example, popular cheap cars to insure in the UK include the Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback, Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Fox and Volkswagen Up!—all of which have trim levels that fall into Insurance Group 1.

Average Car Insurance Costs UK, by Car Make and Model

Not surprisingly, we found that the cost of car insurance in the UK increases with the make, model and trim level of a car, as well as the underlying value of the car. This makes sense since a more expensive car requires a larger payout by the insurer in case of theft, and typically costs more to repair in case of damage. For example, a 45-year-old driver would pay around £575 to insure a £12,000 Ford Fiesta with a comprehensive policy, or £812 to insure a £33,000 Mercedes Benz A Class 220.

Insurance Rates by Car
Ford Fiesta£575
Ford Focus£623
Nissan Qashqai£634
Volkswagen Golf£658
Mercedes Benz A Class 220£812
Cost of car insurance for Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, VW Golf, Nissan Qashqai and Mercedes Benz A Class
Generally speaking, expensive cars cost more to insure

For reference, the cost of insurance for an electric car will typically be higher—in part because electric cars cost more to replace than comparable internal combustion engine cars (e.g., petrol or diesel cars) due to higher purchase prices.

Keep in mind that the higher your annual mileage, the more you'll pay for car insurance. For more information on getting the most for your money, see our article on cheap car insurance companies. You can also read about how to save money on car insurance with our top tips.

Anyone considering buying a motorcycle instead of a car might be interested in learning about the average cost of motorcycle insurance, which starts around £340 per year for the ever-popular Honda PCX.

Average Car Insurance Costs UK, by City

Car insurance rates are more expensive in Manchester than in any other major town in England. We've compared the cost of car insurance for postcodes across England by averaging the 3 cheapest quotes available from our car insurance partner QuoteZone and found that Manchester drivers can pay 44% more than average. The example below shows prices for a 50-year-old driver of a 5-year-old Ford Fiesta.

CityPost CodeCheap Quotes
SunderlandSR2£379
NewcastleNE6£402
BristolBS3£465
SheffieldS11£468
LeedsLS6£537
LondonSW2£686
BradfordBD1£725
BirminghamB23£886
LiverpoolL17£891
ManchesterM20£913
Average£635
Which city has the most expensive car insurance in the UK?
Car insurance is the most expensive in Manchester, UK

Why is car insurance in Manchester so expensive? Because of higher claims rates in Manchester—theft, in particular, is an issue. In fact, the Manchester Evening News has reported that nine out of ten car thieves in Greater Manchester get away with the crime and that the number of thefts has risen by a whopping 80% from 2014 to 2018. Since car insurance companies have higher claims in Manchester than many other areas, local motorists pay the price through higher car insurance rates.

FAQ

The average cost of car insurance was £484 per year at the end of 2019, but prices vary dramatically by factors like car make and model.
Heading into 2020, the average cost of car insurance was £484 per year, but prices vary dramatically from person to person depending on your age.
The cheapest car insurance can be found for barely £100 a year, but the cheapest policies might offer too little coverage for your needs. Cheap, decent quality comprehensive car insurance generally starts from around £400 per year in the UK, but prices vary dramatically by factors like age and car.
The average cost of car insurance per month is around £45.5 a month in the UK. This assumes you pay an 22.9% APR on a policy costing £484 per year, which is the average annual cost of car insurance.
After falling for some time, car insurance premiums are now on the rise, climbing just over 1% from the end of 2018 to the end of 2019; previously, car insurance prices had fallen around 2.4% from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018. If your renewal seems too high, you can compare quotes with our car insurance partner QuoteZone in under 2 minutes and get prices from some of the largest UK car insurance companies.
There are many factors affecting the cost of car insurance, including details about you (e.g., your age, driving experience, driving record, occupation and where you live), your car (e.g., value, age, size of engine) and how you use your car (e.g., annual mileage, reason for driving and where your car is stored at night).
The cost of car insurance for young drivers is closer to £1,000 a year or more—significantly higher than for more experienced drivers. New drivers should expect to pay 2X to 3X as much for cover as more experienced drivers.
Young drivers in their 20s start off paying from £850 for comprehensive cover for the UK's most popular car, a used Ford Fiesta. By 25 years old, this premium will have dropped to around £720, and by the end of their 20s to around £640 for our sample driver. In addition to age, premiums in your local area have a major impact.
New drivers over the age of 30 in the UK may need to pay from around £650 a year, depending on other factors like the car they drive.
The cost to cancel car insurance in the UK ranges from £0 to over £100. Generally speaking, telematics policies incur larger cancellation charges due to the cost to the insurer of supplying the black box. Also some "discount" brands charge more to cancel a policy. Finally, be aware that some companies even charge an admin fee for canceling during the 14-day cooling off period. Ideally, your plan will charge no cancellation fee, at least during the cooling off period, but if that's not possible then try to pick one that charges less than £50.
There are dozens of factors affecting the cost of your car insurance, some of which can be used to save money on your car insurance price. For example, if you already own a car then make sure you comparison shop, don't automatically renew without checking the market, pay annually instead of monthly, buy around 3 weeks before the start date, build up your no claims discount and don't pay for extras like a courtesy car if you don't need them. If you're in the market for a new car, picking one with a low insurance group can save you hundreds of pounds a year.

Methodology

To determine the average cost of car insurance for UK consumers, we first collected comprehensive car insurance quotes from our car insurance partner QuoteZone. To get an idea of the true cost of a "cheap" policy, that is, how much someone might need to pay to secure cover, we averaged the 5 cheapest quotes to reflect costs for a range of policies at the low end of prices.

In order to standardize our results, we made certain assumptions about the type of plan and level of coverage sought by the average consumer. This study assumes standard comprehensive coverage and excludes optional features, like protection for a no claims bonus.

Another way we standardized our results was by holding all driver profile variables constant, except for age and make/model of car as explained above. The driver is an unmarried male who owns a 2019 model car and has been driving since 18 years of age, hasn't filed any claims, has accumulated up to 5 years of NCD (No Claims Discount), drives 5,000 miles per year and parks in a private driveway. He works indoors as a professional.

Cheap Car Insurance in Your Area

Quickly compare over 100 UK insurance providers. Powered by QuoteZone.

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