The Average Cost of Car Insurance in the UK


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By Cai Bradley
Updated on Monday 19 July 2021

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How much does car insurance really cost?

Here’s a breakdown of the average price of cover in the UK and an explanation as to how the cost can differ depending on various factors, such as the type of car you have and your driving history (claims, convictions, etc).

Car insurance is an expense that we could all do without, but it is a must-have due to the fact that it is a UK legal requirement and that it helps protect us against the potential costs associated with the aftermath of a road traffic collision, which can be extortionate.

Finding out what the true average cost of car insurance is can be tricky – mainly because it varies so much between individuals and companies – but our guide will help give you an idea as to what affects the cost of car insurance, how much you might have to pay for a policy, or indeed, how much you could save on car cover and how to go about reducing the cost.

In this article:

How much does car insurance cost?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported that at the end of 2020, the average cost of comprehensive car insurance was £468 per year, as referred to by the Money Advice ServiceThis was £17 less than the average cost of cover in the previous year, but the decrease could well be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, as drivers didn’t spend as much time driving throughout the year, so the number of claims fell significantly.

The average cost of car insurance varies considerably depending on where you get your information from and how old you are – for example, Confused.com states that in 2021, UK motorists can expect to pay an average cost of £538, which is £70 more expensive than the average cost provided by the ABI. 

Statista states that the cost of car cover for young drivers in their 20s is an average of £851, while the AA British Insurance Premium Index states that car insurance for young and new drivers (between the ages of 17 and 22) can be as much as £1,628.60.

Average prices will rise and fall depending on the current market and major events like the Covid-19 pandemic, so it’s important that you get your own quotes from a variety of different providers and comparison sites to get a rough estimate of how much you may be required to pay.

The average cost of manual and automatic car insurance

A 2020 report by This is Money – using data from MoneySupermarket – found that the average cost of manual car insurance is £465.94 per year, while automatic vehicles typically cost around 20% more at an average of £560.01 per year.

In most cases, automatic vehicles are more expensive to insure due to the higher cost involved with replacing any damaged or broken parts – for example, an automatic gearbox can cost up to a thousand pound more than the manual equivalent.

This means that, in the event of a car accident claim, insurers would be required to pay out more money to cover the cost of repairing automatic vehicles, so they bump up the premiums to account for this risk.

Read more in our full guide: Is Insurance Cheaper for Automatic Cars?

How is car insurance calculated?

The average cost of car insurance for an 18-year-old will, of course, be different to the average cost of cover for a driver who is older and more experienced, and there are dozens of other factors that are taken into account when determining how much you will pay for your insurance policy.

Some of the most important factors considered when calculating your car insurance cost include:

  • Your age

  • How many years you have been driving

  • How many claims you have made previously or how many years no-claims bonus (NCB) you have

  • Where you live

  • Whether your car is automatic or manual

  • The car’s make, model and engine

  • Your car's insurance group (numbered between 1 and 50)

  • Where you park the car overnight (i.e. your driveway, a main road, etc)

  • Your job title

  • Any previous driving convictions

  • Whether you are paying monthly or annually (paying for cover monthly will mean you'll have to pay interest on top)

Read more: How is Car Insurance Calculated?

The type of vehicle you drive has a significant impact on the price you pay for cover overall, so be sure to think about how much it might cost you for insurance before buying or leasing a new motor.

Read more: The Cheapest, Best Cars to Insure

Is car insurance more expensive for men or women?

Years ago, insurers traditionally offered cheaper car insurance to women, but new regulations mean that they can no longer use gender as a factor when calculating someone’s premiums.

Data shows that men still pay more for cover on average, but the gender gap has decreased significantly in recent years and the driver's sex is no longer taken into account.

The average cost of car insurance by age in the UK

As previously mentioned, the price you pay for car insurance depends on a variety of factors, with your age and driving experience believed to be two of the most influential.

Generally, the younger you are, the more expensive your premiums will be, but it’s also important to remember that the cost of cover usually spikes again once you reach your 60s and 70s.

The average price of cover by age is as follows, according to Statista:

Age

Average cost

20 years old

£851

25 years old

£719

35 years old

£639

45 years old

£575

55 years old

£468

65 years old

£491

75 years old

£752

The above figures are average car insurance quotes from a range of UK insurance providers, assuming the following about the driver for the case of standardisation:

  • Male
  • Not married
  • 2019 model car
  • Drives 5,000 miles every year
  • Been driving since the age of 18
  • Hasn't had any accidents or made any claims
  • 5 years' worth of no claims bonus
  • Parks car in their private driveway
  • Professional worker indoors

Average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old - Young drivers

The cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old, 18-year-old or a learner driver will inevitably be higher than someone who has been driving for more than five years, as they pose a higher risk due to their lack of experience on the road.

In 2020, MoneySupermarket reported that those aged between 17 and 19 pay an average of £725 for an annual, fully comprehensive policy.

Read more:

Why is car insurance more expensive for young drivers?

Premiums are set by insurers using statistics from research carried out in the car insurance industry, and because these statistics show that younger and less experienced drivers are more likely to have an accident than those with more years under their belt and a no-claims bonus, they usually face higher costs as a result.

The more experience you have, the cheaper your insurance will become. MoneySuperMarket found that motorists aged between 30 and 39 pay an average of £574.

Is car insurance for over 50s always cheaper?

It’s true – to a point – that motor insurance typically becomes cheaper as you age, especially if you build up a good no-claims discount, with those aged between 40 and 50 often being offered the best deals.

Read more: Car Insurance for Over 50s

It’s also true that your car insurance could increase once again as you head into your 60s and 70s.

Insurers say that this is because statistics show that drivers become more likely to have an accident as they reach such an age, perhaps due to their increased reaction times or potential health issues, such as visual impairment with your eyesight.

Read more: Is There an Age Limit for Driving in the UK?

How to get cheap vehicle insurance

There are a few things that you can do to get cheaper car insurance, no matter how old you are or where you live in the UK, including the following:

  • Switch providers annually to avoid high auto-renewal prices

  • Add a named driver to your policy (but beware of fronting)

  • Choose a less expensive car to insure (learn about the cheapest cars to insure)

  • Build up a no-claims bonus

  • Park your vehicle away from danger

  • Improve your car’s level of security

  • Get a black box insurance policy (particularly useful for young and new drivers)

  • Try to tweak your job title if possible (but don't change it too much or you risk invalidating your policy)

  • Increase your voluntary excess (but make sure it's an amount you would be able to afford in the event of a claim)

  • Lower your annual mileage if at all possible

  • Pay annually if you can, as paying monthly will cost more in the long-run

  • If you have more than one vehicle registered to your home, you could save by purchasing a multi-car policy

Learn more in our guide: 17 ways to get cheaper car insurance

To get a car insurance quote now, start with Compare UK Quotes; simply tap the button below to get a free quote quickly and see how much money you could be saving on cover.

For more advice and tips relating to car insurance, be sure to read our related guides below.


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