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Average Cost of Car Insurance UK (January 2024)

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In the 4th quarter of 2023, the average cost paid for car insurance in the UK was £627 a year according to the ABI—an increase of 34% in one year. While motor insurance rates had dropped in recent years, car insurance is now rising and is one of the biggest costs of owning and running a car. 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?

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The average car insurance cost was £627 between October and December 2023 for comprehensive cover—up 34% from £470 a year earlier (Q4 2022) and the highest since the ABI started collecting this data back in 2012. Our own data shows that since this period, prices have dropped from the worst levels, which we noticed in October 2023.

The good news is that compared to October, the average price in our study actually DROPPED. Only 6.8%, but still. With motorists facing ever-increasing rates over the past year, we're happy to see some weakening in premium prices—although the first week of February 2024 they appear to be drifting upwards again. And another interesting note is that we're seeing Admiral's 'Essential' tier on comparison sites now, which is great because it's a lower-cost option for comprehensive cover from the UK's largest insurer. Read more about all of this here.

Average costs vary depending on whether you're renewing or buying a new policy, with new policies typically costing more. Back in Q2 2023, for instance, the average price paid for a renewal was £471 while the average premium for a new policy was £566. (The ABI didn't produce this data cut for Q3 or Q4 2023.)

Inflationary pressures are largely to blame for the rise, with the cost of paint increasing 16% and spare parts up 11% from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023. Other costs, largely driven by energy and labour costs, also rose. Car theft is also a big issue: payouts for vehicle thefts rose 35% in Q3 2023 (vs Q3 2022).

Frustratingly for those keen to support EV take up, the ABI reported that electric vehicles are ~25% more expensive to repair than their petrol equivalents and take 14% longer to fix.

The Financial Conduct Authority brought in rules on January 1 2022 to stop insurers charging existing customers more than new customers, which is part of the reason that renewal rates are lower than new policy rates. But prices are now rising for both.

And prices vary a lot from person to person. Your age, car and location can affect the price you pay by up to 500% or more. So can how you use your car—with delivery drivers and couriers paying more than £2,000 a year for their hire & reward car insurance.

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

Due to intense competition in the industry and the impact of motorists making fewer journeys due to the COVID-19 lockdown, car insurance costs had been decreasing over the past few years. But between inflation causing car repair costs to increase and supply chain shortages causing courtesy cars to be needed for longer, prices are starting to rise again. Here's the real data on the actual average price paid by motorists for comprehensive car insurance in the UK by quarter over the past few years:

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
Q1 2020£474
Q2 2020£460
Q3 2020£460
Q4 2020£468
Q1 2021£436
Q2 2021£430
Q3 2021£429
Q4 2021£440
Q1 2022£416
Q2 2022£419
Q3 2022£436
Q4 2022£470
Q1 2023£478
Q2 2023£511
Q£ 2023£561

Is this how much you should expect to pay for car insurance? Not necessarily. For starters, the figures above reflect just one type of car insurance—comprehensive. Despite this being the 'best' type of cover, the other types (Third Party Only and Third Party, Fire & Theft) can cost more.

Also, with costs on the rise, we're seeing rates rise nearly every single week! Our weekly testing of the major car insurance providers Direct Line, Aviva, LV=, AXA and Admiral showed an average rate for their cheapest cover for our sample driver of £489, which is up around 9% from the 2nd quarter of the year. But as we head into December 2023, prices have thankfully settled and not moved much in the past few weeks. You can read more about that testing in our article on comparing cheap car insurance.

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£851Get Quotes
25 Years£719Get Quotes
35 Years£639Get Quotes
45 Years£575Get Quotes
55 Years£468Get Quotes
65 Years£491Get Quotes
75 Years£752Get Quotes
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.
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.

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  • Average Car Insurance Costs UK, by Car Make and Model

    Not surprisingly, we found that car insurance prices in the UK increase 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 a price of 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 Prices by Car
    Ford Fiesta£575Get Quotes
    Ford Focus£623Get Quotes
    Nissan Qashqai£634Get Quotes
    Volkswagen Golf£658Get Quotes
    Mercedes Benz A Class 220£812Get Quotes
    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 (around 13%, according to our analysis)—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.

    Motorcycle insurance is cheaper than car insurance and starts from around £340 per year for the ever-popular Honda PCX.

    Average Car Insurance Costs UK, by Car Insurance Group

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    Each car in the UK has an 'insurance group rating' which is used by underwriters to calculate car insurance premiums. There are 50 insurance groups, with the lower-numbered groups being cheaper to insure. The insurance group number depends on factors that determine how costly a car is to insure from the insurance company's point of view, such as the value of the vehicle, cost of parts, security features, odds of theft and more.

    When trying to save money on car insurance, it can really help to choose a car in a lower insurance group. In fact, the average cost of a car for insurance group 1 is more than 50% lower than prices for insurance group 50 cars.

    Another way to look at this is the £ savings you can achieve with a lower insurance group car. A 20-year-old would save around £1,000 a year by choosing an insurance group 1 car instead of an insurance group 50 car; a 50-year-old would save less in £ terms since the figures are lower overall, but could still save close to £500 a year with a group 1 car. To compare average car insurance prices by insurance group, see the data estimates in the following table:

    Insurance Costs by Car Insurance Group20 years30 years40 years50 years
    1£959£556£487£393Get Quotes
    2£1,003£582£510£411Get Quotes
    3£1,046£607£532£429Get Quotes
    4£1,088£631£553£446Get Quotes
    5£1,126£653£573£462Get Quotes
    6£1,159£672£589£475Get Quotes
    7£1,185£688£602£486Get Quotes
    8£1,207£700£613£495Get Quotes
    9£1,225£711£623£502Get Quotes
    10£1,242£721£631£510Get Quotes
    11£1,261£731£641£517Get Quotes
    12£1,281£743£651£525Get Quotes
    13£1,301£755£661£534Get Quotes
    14£1,325£768£673£543Get Quotes
    15£1,346£781£684£552Get Quotes
    16£1,364£791£693£560Get Quotes
    17£1,377£799£700£565Get Quotes
    18£1,390£807£707£570Get Quotes
    19£1,399£812£711£574Get Quotes
    20£1,407£816£715£577Get Quotes
    21£1,417£822£720£581Get Quotes
    22£1,431£830£727£587Get Quotes
    23£1,441£836£732£591Get Quotes
    24£1,471£854£748£604Get Quotes
    25£1,496£868£761£614Get Quotes
    26£1,521£882£773£624Get Quotes
    27£1,541£894£783£632Get Quotes
    28£1,556£902£791£638Get Quotes
    29£1,562£906£794£641Get Quotes
    30£1,562£906£794£641Get Quotes
    31£1,557£903£792£639Get Quotes
    32£1,552£900£789£636Get Quotes
    33£1,550£899£788£636Get Quotes
    34£1,554£902£790£638Get Quotes
    35£1,569£910£797£643Get Quotes
    36£1,593£924£810£653Get Quotes
    37£1,627£944£827£667Get Quotes
    38£1,667£967£847£684Get Quotes
    39£1,731£993£870£702Get Quotes
    40£1,781£1,018£892£720Get Quotes
    41£1,795£1,041£912£736Get Quotes
    42£1,830£1,062£930£751Get Quotes
    43£1,861£1,080£946£764Get Quotes
    44£1,890£1,096£960£775Get Quotes
    45£1,918£1,112£974£786Get Quotes
    46£1,946£1,129£989£799Get Quotes
    47£1,974£1,149£1,006£812Get Quotes
    48£2,002£1,170£1,025£827Get Quotes
    49£2,030£1,194£1,046£844Get Quotes
    50£2,058£1,219£1,068£861Get Quotes

    If you're concerned with the cost of car insurance and are considering buying a cheaper-to-insure car, looks for cars in lower insurance groups (e.g. groups 1 through 10). As shown in the table above, this can save you loads on car insurance premiums.

    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 Quote Price Estimates
    SunderlandSR2£379Get Quotes
    NewcastleNE6£402Get Quotes
    BristolBS3£465Get Quotes
    SheffieldS11£468Get Quotes
    LeedsLS6£537Get Quotes
    LondonSW2£686Get Quotes
    BradfordBD1£725Get Quotes
    BirminghamB23£886Get Quotes
    LiverpoolL17£891Get Quotes
    ManchesterM20£913Get Quotes
    Average£635Get Quotes
    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.

    Poll: What are the most important factors when buying car insurance?

    Participate in our poll so we can see what people really care about when buying car insurance. While price is clearly important to the thousands of readers who have found their way to this page, is it the most important factor?

    Tell us the five most important factors for you from the list below (or tell us if there is anything else that drives your decision). Once you enter your answer the results will show so you can compare to what other people have said they find most important.

    FAQ

    The average cost of car insurance was £561 per year between July and September 2023, representing a 29% rise from Q3 2022. Your premiums may differ however as prices vary dramatically by factors like car make and model.
    At the end of September 2023, the average cost of car insurance was £561 per year, but prices vary dramatically from person to person depending on your age.
    In certain circumstances, the cheapest car insurance can be found for barely £100 a year, but rates that low might not be available to you based on a number of factors, and the cheapest policies might offer too little coverage for your needs. Cheap, decent quality comprehensive car insurance generally starts from around £500 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 £53 a month in the UK. This assumes you pay an 22.9% APR on a policy costing £561 per year, which is the average annual cost of car insurance.
    Car insurance premiums are on the rise again now in 2023—up 29% from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023. If your renewal seems too high, you can compare quotes with our car insurance partner QuoteZone in as little as 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 can easily exceed £1,000 a year—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.
    Car insurance usually costs around £511 a year, but prices can be 2X - 3X as much or more for new drivers, expensive cars and those with points on their licence.

    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.

    Save money with cheap car insurance for your vehicle

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    Comments

    The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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